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Queso Bola de Ocosingo
oil on wood, 8x8"
From the Cheese Portraits series.
This cheese is mainly produced by small co-ops in the towns around the city of Ocosingo, in the north-east part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. It's nearly impossible to find outside of Chiapas, but Carlos Yescas, ambassador for the cheeses of Mexico, was kind enough to be a good friend (cheesemule) and bring some to my studio!
A hand-sized globe of cheese, it resembles an Italian Cacciocavallo in the type and form. It has an outer rind that hardens and forms a casing that is sometimes edible however, the rind is very chewy and not everyone enjoys eating that. In the inside, the paste is a bright straw yellow (with the texture of very crumbly cheese) and the flavour is lactic (milky), salty and fresh. The cheese is normally made with raw cows-milk from small Holstein herds.
Having been made in Chiapas for about 120 years, the State of Chiapas and the Mexican Institute for Industrial Property (part of the Ministry of Economy) are trying to develop collective trademarks for cheese. This is the first step in the long process to get a Denomination of Origin in Mexico. This would be the first DOP cheese in Mexico.
I have to admit, I've not tasted a cheese exactly like this. It's tangy lactic flavor is surprisingly light. I really cant wait to eat more of it and explore it's pairings!
Origin: Chiapas, Mexico,cow