Oaxaca Creates The Melty Pull Your Grilled Cheese Deserves

ball of oaxaca cheese
ball of oaxaca cheese - Marcos Castillo/Shutterstock

Oaxaca is one of Mexico's southernmost Pacific coastal states, known for its incredible wave sets, stunning inland mountains, and one of the most iconic regional gastronomies in the republic. Mole and mezcal are among Oaxaca's most well-known contributions to Mexican cuisine, but it's also famous within Mexico for its namesake cheese. Queso Oaxaca, also known as quesillo, originated in central Oaxaca and is one of Mexico's most beloved cheeses. It has a mild and versatile flavor similar to mozzarella, and its semi-hard texture is formed into a yarn-like ball that pulls apart like string cheese.

In Mexico, Oaxaca cheese is one of the most popular types to melt into a quesadilla. Consequently, it'd also be the perfect addition to your grilled cheese sandwich. Its stringy texture breaks down without the need to grate it. Plus, it's a fun and oddly satisfying task to pull long threads of Oaxaca cheese from its spherical structure.

Layered, latticed, or curled over a piece of buttered bread, Oaxaca cheese will transform into an epic melted cheese pull with every decadent bite of your grilled cheese sandwich. With a mild flavor, Oaxaca cheese will pair well with stronger cheeses like sharp cheddar or smoky gouda as well as additional proteins, veggies, or aromatics you might want to use for more complexity. That said, its gooey, creamy melted texture and creamy, subtly salty profile is delicious as is, especially for picky eaters and kids.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Oaxaca Grilled Cheese Ideas

hands spreading grilled cheese sandwich
hands spreading grilled cheese sandwich - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

A grilled cheese sandwich doesn't need to be complex to be good, even with a mild cheese like Oaxaca. So, feel free to use it as the star of the show, sandwiched between two slices of white bread slathered with butter or mayonnaise. As a mozzarella doppelganger, a Oaxaca grilled cheese will taste delicious with tomatoes which are ironically a Mexican native crop. You can thus add slices of tomatoes to Oaxaca grilled cheese or serve it alongside a bowl of tomato soup. You can add a dusting of Parmesan cheese to the bread or filling to bring a bit of salty nuttiness to Oaxaca cheese's mild, creamy flavor.

You can draw inspiration from Oaxaca cheese's use in Mexican cuisine by adding strips of roasted poblanos or squash blossoms or the unique Mexican corn fungus, huitlacoche, to your grilled cheese. Grilled onions and bell peppers would bring a smoky sweetness to complement a Oaxaca grilled cheese. You can swap a traditional cup of tomato soup for a rich and complex mole dipping sauce. If you use mayonnaise to grill the bread for your sandwich, opt for a chipotle or lime-flavored mayonnaise to infuse the bread with a subtle, yet perfectly complementary component. Slather refried beans and slide a few slices of avocado into a Oaxaca cheese sandwich for a grilled take on a classic mollete.

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