Outside of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, quesillo is better known as Queso Oaxaca, or Oaxaca Cheese. This is because the word “quesillo” can refer to a variety of different cheeses, depending on where you are, but if you find yourself in Oaxaca, you absolutely have to order some quesillo. 

Quesillo is a type of string cheese. In stores, you will find it sold in balls that range in size. The ball is actually more of a long tube of cheese that is wrapped up tightly in the ball form.

While it is tempting to simply take a big bite out of the white cheese ball, the proper way to eat it starts by hacking off pieces.

Once you start unraveling the cheese, you can cut off pieces that are a few inches long and start to pull them apart. The string cheese will come apart easily, especially if the cheese is extra fresh. 

Many restaurants will offer a plate of cold quesillo as an appetizer, but it can also be cooked into a variety of dishes. The cheese doesn’t melt into a gooey topping in the same way as the cheese you may be used to seeing on your tacos, but it does melt enough to seal quesadillas and tacos together quite nicely. The taste is sharp and distinct, so it gives Oaxacan dishes a different flavor than similar dishes served in other parts of Mexico. 

Whether you eat quesillo plain or cooked into a fresh tortilla, you simply cannot miss out on this fresh string cheese in Oaxaca.