Food writer Maryanne Carmack’s second installment from her latest Mexican adventure…
While in Guadalajara, our hosts Jeffry and Brenda Fernandez treated us to lunch at Casa Fuerte Restaurant in Tlaquepaque, our most impressive and memorable Mexican dining experience. The restaurant leans towards fine dining, with an elegant bar and refreshing garden patio surrounding a magnificent old tree. The added spice to our unforgettable meal was listening to the serenade of colourful musicians.
Of the many items we ordered, the Queso fundido en salsa verde, “melted cheese” dish, was the one that captured our hearts and stomachs forever. We were presented with a smoldering molcajete bowl (hand crafted volcanic stone grinding bowl), along with hot fresh tortillas. An avalanche of shredded Queso Oaxaca (cheese from Oaxaca) crowned the creation. As we dug down, various goodies emerged from the depths of the seething crater. With queso fundido, the cheese gradually melts due to the retained heat of the stone bowl.
Oaxaca [pronounced Wuh-HAH-kuh] cheese is a semi-soft white cow’s milk cheese that originated in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Like mozzarella, Oaxaca cheese is produced using the pasta filata, a method of stretching the curd. Sometimes, long, flat strands of cheese are wound into a ball and sold this way. Resembling a ball of large strands of yarn, the cheese in this form is called quesillo, meaning “rope” or “string” cheese. The texture of Oaxaca cheese is supple and smooth. The flavor is mild and buttery and does not intrude on the foods it is served with. Oaxaca cheese is particularly well suited and known for its meltability. My advice is put queso fundido at the very top of your “things to eat” list the next time you treat yourself to a trip to Mexico.
About Maryanne Carmack…
Maryanne was the first person scouted for our 2011 expansion. In my opinion she’s a perfect fit. Not only does she truly know food (and wine), but she has a genuine passion for being active in the community and for promoting environmental awareness through her writing and photography. Her work is engaging, relevant, and fun. I’m personally very excited to have Maryanne on board! Please click “Contact” above and let us know what you think of her work.
You can see more of Maryanne’s work here: http://www.maryannecarmack.com – be sure to check out the food and wine gallery!