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Oaxaca vs. Chihuahua Cheese: Learn the Difference

by | Feb 2, 2022 | tacos, Taqueria 27

Oaxaca cheese

To you, are Oaxaca and Chihuahua just states in Mexico? Well, we’ve got some news for you. Not only are they states, but they also lend their names to two delicious types of Mexican cheese that will change your life!

We’re going to take a look at what makes these two Mexican cheeses so deliciously delectable. Plus, we’ll look at the best ways to enjoy them.

Join us as we explore the differences between Oaxaca vs. Chihuahua cheese.

The History of Oaxaca and Chihuahua Cheese

Oaxaca cheese is named after the southern Mexican state with the same name. Migration brought Dominican friars from Italy to Oaxaca. And with them, they brought the know-how to create string cheese.

Oaxaca cheese was born. Unlike traditional mozzarella, it’s made with cow’s milk. It’s a semi-hard cheese, making it more like a pizza mozzarella than a fresh one. 

Chihuahua cheese came into Mexico by migrants coming from the other direction. American Mennonites moved to Chihuahua state in northern Mexico. They brought their cheesemaking skills, and Chihuahua cheese was born!

The Production of Cheese

If you’ve ever watched a video of mozzarella being made, this gives you an idea of how they make Oaxaca cheese. First, the cheese curds get stretched into long strands and rolled. This gives Oaxaca cheese its characteristic ‘ball of yarn’ appearance. 

Chihuahua cheese is a semi-soft cheese that is traditionally made from raw milk. It is usually eaten when fairly young but can also be aged. If you’re struggling to find it, try searching for ‘queso menonita.’

Flavor Profile

Oaxaca cheese is prized for its mellow flavor. It’s rich and almost buttery. It’s mild and melts exceptionally well – making it perfect for Mexican dishes such as fondue and quesadillas

Chihuahua cheese has more tang and depth than Oaxaca cheese. It’s similar to a young cheddar or Monterey Jack, with a hint of sharpness. But, again, it’s an excellent melting cheese.

How Long Can They Last?

Both of these types of cheese are so delicious they’re unlikely to last long!

Oaxaca cheese is a fresh cheese, so you need to eat it quickly. Store it carefully in the refrigerator in a covered container. It will usually last for a week to ten days.

Chihuahua cheese also has a short shelf life once opened. So it’s best to eat it within five days. 

You can also grate and freeze these types of Mexican cheese, so you always have them on hand! 

How to Eat Oaxaca and Chihuahua Cheeses

Both of these cheeses are outrageously good melted. That’s why our recommendation is to try them in Mexican dishes that call for drippy, gooey, melted cheese goodness.

Think queso fundido – a warm cheese fondue, perfect for dipping corn chips and flour tortillas into. Also, try tacos with either – or both – cheeses added as a final touch.

Final Word on Oaxaca vs. Chihuahua Cheese

The differences are clear between Oaxaca vs. Chihuahua cheese, but there’s no need to choose between them!

Both of these great Mexican cheeses should have a place in your life. So enjoy their salty, tangy, melty goodness in our awesome range of Mexican dishes!

At Taqueria 27, we bring the best of Mexico to Salt Lake City. Our menu is perfect for taco lovers, and our four locations make us easy to find. Explore new flavors and combinations from our varied menu.

Order online or visit one of our locations today!