Queso Oaxaca is a white, semi-hard cheese from Mexico, similar to unaged Monterey Jack, but with a mozzarella-like string cheese texture. It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made.[no_toc]
The string cheese process, originally from Italy, which is used to produce mozzarella, was brought to Mexico by the Dominican monks that settled in Oaxaca. However, as buffalo milk was unavailable, they started using cow milk instead. It is available in several different shapes. It is also known as quesillo Oaxaca or thread cheese when shaped like a ball. Shaped in bricks for slicing, it is called asadero (meaning “roaster” or “broiler”) or queso quesadilla.
The production process is complicated and involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons and rolling it up like a ball of yarn. Italian mozzarella is another cheese which is processed by stretching (the pasta filata process).
Queso Oaxaca is used widely in Mexican cuisine, especially in quesadillas and empanadas, where the queso Oaxaca is melted and other stuffing, such as huitlacoche and squash flowers are added to the filling.
Availability and Substitutes
- Online orders and stockist : This cheese can be obtained in Australia
- Substitutes : Mozzarella cheese, or Jack cheese, or Muenster, or Provolone