Oaxaca cheese

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Quesillo de Oaxaca.png
Other namesQuesillo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca cheese
Country of originMexico
Source of milkCow
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Oaxaca cheese (Spanish: queso Oaxaca) (/wəˈhɑːkə/ wə-HAH-kə), also known as quesillo, is a white, semihard cheese that originated in Mexico. It is similar to unaged Monterey Jack, but with a texture similar to mozzarella or string cheese.[1]


It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made. The string cheese process (pasta filata), originally from Italy, which is used to produce mozzarella, was brought to Mexico by the Dominican friars that settled in Oaxaca. As water buffalo milk was unavailable, they used cow's milk, instead. The cheese is available in several different shapes.


The production process is complicated and involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons and rolling it up like a ball of yarn using the pasta filata process. Another cheese made with this method is mozzarella.[2]


Queso Oaxaca is used widely in Mexican cuisine, especially in quesadillas and empanadas, where the queso Oaxaca is melted and other ingredients, such as huitlacoche and squash flowers, are added to the filling.[3]

Outside Mexico[edit]

Oaxaca cheese is often confused with asadero (queso asadero), a cheese produced in the northern state of Chihuahua. They are similar in texture, but they are produced with different methods, making Oaxaca cheese moister.[4]

In Costa Rica, it is known as Queso Palmito. The name is due to the similarity to the stringy consistency of heart of palm (palmito), and it is produced in the San Carlos and Zarcero cantons of Alajuela Province. [5][6]

In Nicaragua and El Salvador, the cheese is known as Quesillo.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Long Towell Long & Luis Alberto Vargas (2005). Food Culture in Mexico. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 116. ISBN 9780313324314. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  2. ^ Yu, Chenxu; Gunasekaran, Sundaram (August 2005). "A systems analysis of pasta filata process during Mozzarella cheese making". Journal of Food Engineering. 69 (4): 399–408. doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2004.08.031.
  3. ^ "The Cook's Thesaurus". Lori Alden. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  4. ^ Villegas de Gante, Abraham (2004). Tecnología Quesera. Editorial Trillas. pp. 451–456. ISBN 9789682469992.
  5. ^ Ramírez Navas, Juan Sebastían; González Sequeira, Sebastián; Sequeira Cléve, Norma. "Queso Palmito: originalmente costarricense". Tecnología Láctea Latinoamericana. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b O'Neal Coto, Katzy. "La UCR aporta un estudio para mejorar calidad de los productos lácteos artesanales". Retrieved 19 November 2020.

Further reading[edit]

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