Oaxaca Cheese, also known as Asadero Queso Oaxaca and Quesillo Oaxaca, is a semi-hard, white cheese from Mexico. It is quite similar to the un-aged Monterey Jack; however it has a mozzarella-like string cheese texture. The cheese, which is supple and smooth and has a mild and buttery flavor, is named after the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The product is made from cow's milk and the production process is often complicated and lengthy. The cheese is used in various popular specialties as well as everyday recipes.
Origin of Asadero Queso Oaxaca
While it is known for a fact that the cheese has a Mexican origin and was first made in the state of Oaxaca, after which it has been named, most of the other details about its invention are largely disputed. While some believe that the product is an indigenous Mexican cheese which was invented in the 1800s, others insist that in 1950s, an Italian cheese-maker moved to Oaxacain state and started making the cheese.
Popular Oaxaca Cheese Recipes and Culinary Uses of the Cheese
Due to its texture and flavor, Oaxaca cheese is used in a number of preparations, both sweet and savory. It is also popularly consumed as it is, after bringing it down to room temperature. Largely used in Mexican cuisine, especially in Quesadillas and Empanadas, the cheese is an important filling ingredient. It is also grated and sprinkled over burgers and salads. The cheese is particularly well suited for recipes which require melted cheese and is mostly used in almost all dishes which feature melted cheese like nachos, chili con queso, queso fundido and enchiladas.
Nutritive Value of Quesillo Oaxaca
Being a cheese, Oaxaca is high in fat and calorie contents. One average-sized serving of the cheese contains about 80 calories, and it is thus not categorized as a healthy food. It is, however, true that the made-at-home version is better than the processed version; both are equally high in fat and calories. While some establishments do produce low-fat versions of the cheese, it is not much preferred as the taste and texture are not quite the same. Although the consumption of Oaxaca cheese in large quantities and on frequent basis is largely discouraged, limited and controlled consumption, in smaller quantities, is alright and even advised.
Buying Asadero Queso Oaxaca
Although it is largely believed that the authentic and original version of the cheese is only available in the Oaxaca-region of Mexico, there are establishments in other places which claim to make the product the way it is to be traditionally made. The cheese can be purchased from local stores and supermarkets. People who want to buy Oaxaca from Mexico alone can place online orders. There are also various gourmet stores both online and offline which sell the cheese.
Oaxaca Cheese can be an expensive buy.