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Named after the state of Oaxaca located in southern Mexico, where it was first made. The semi-hard cheese is used widely in Mexican popular cuisine like quesadillas and empanadas. The development of the cheese is credited to the Dominican friars who settled in Oaxaca, using the string cheese process, originally from Italy, which is also used to produce Mozzarella. With water buffalo milk unavailable, they used cow’s milk instead.