HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Where can i get Oaxacan cheese?

Everytime i'm in a grocery store or cheese shop, i stop by to see if they have oaxacan cheese but i only see the normal french, italian, and american varieties. i'd rather not buy it online and have it shipped. does anyone know where i can get oaxacan and other mexican cheese?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. http://www.mexgrocer.com

    really - they have everything you want, the best corn tortillas (porkyland) and chips (sabritones, churrumais, etc)

    1. sorry! didnt read that you didnt want to order online.

      1 Reply
      1. re: illya

        that's ok. if i can't find it, i might have to try this site. thanks for the info

      2. There's a Mexican grocery on Avenue A and 13th called Zaragoza.

        There's another Mexican grocery in Hell's Kitchen, Tehuitzingo, on 10th and 47th. I'd start there.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Zaragoza is good, but they are often out of whatever it is you want. Call first if you can. I have also found it at the Fine Fare at 4th and C with some degree of reliability. Fine Fare is so ghetto though, I don't know if they even answer the phone. But they have loads of latin cheeses.

          1. re: kathryn

            Might also try the Essex Street Market. Not the fancy cheese shop -- walk straight to the long back/east wall adjacent to a latin fruit stand (nearish the north side) and there should be some mexican cheeses hiding back there.

            1. re: _emilie_

              Second Essex Street, their prices are good and their tortillas are fresh. I think I've seen queso oaxaqueno there. I love Zaragoza too - if they're out of the cheese, enjoy a tamale.

            2. re: kathryn

              it looks like i'll be stopping by zaragoza this weekend. thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

            3. I know I've seen it at Third Ave Cheese, but I don't know if they have it all the time. IIRC, it was on the special board for $2.99 or $3.99 a pound.

              1. There's a pretty big Mexican community in E Harlem, I'm sure its easy to get Oaxacan cheese there. Also, every grocery store in Sunset Park has it. No need to get online.

                1. Totally untraditional, but you might consider a really good feta. The Oaxacan cheese sold at Essex St. is an industrial cheese product. So, it's as if someone asked you to get cheddar and you bought that Kraft crap that comes in the foil package. A really good feta pairs well with Mexican food. Don't take my word for it, however--go to Essex, buy the packaged Oaxacan and get some feta from Saxelby, and see which you like more.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jasmurph

                    i'm trying to recreate some of the dishes from when i went to oaxaca a few yrs ago. if i can't find what i'm looking for, i'll try the feta. thanks.

                    1. re: tkm616

                      Feta would be a good substitute for queso fresco, but not for queso oaxaca. Queso oaxaca is stringy, not crumbly.

                    2. re: jasmurph

                      Anne Saxelby JUST started carrying queso fresco from Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island. It's a quality product: very simple and milky. She also carries their queso fresco, which I didn't try, and some slammin' corn tortillas. This was my first-ever sampling of queso fresco and I'm impressed.

                    3. I bet you could get it in East Harlem. Or Essex Street.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NYCkaren

                        You definitely can get it in East Harlem. I have seen it in the Mexican grocery store on 103rd and Lexington as well as delis.

                      2. The supermarket (I think it's a Fine Fare) on Broadway near Inwood Hill Park, between Cumming and Dyckman, has a variety of Mexican cheeses, mostly of the mass produced, packaged variety. I believe, but am not certain, I have seen quesillo Oaxaca for sale. The store is right next to the A train stop at Dyckman.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cimui

                          I'm going thru the same situation as you in Miami, FL. The solution I found is they carry it at Wal-Mart grocery/super store in the specialty cheese section. It's $ 4.98 for 12 oz and the brand is OL'E Oaxaca cheese. The cheese isn't stringy in the vacuum sealed package, it's actually a lump of cheese and is similar if not identical to mozzarella. If you go back to this link, it's even referred to as Mexican mozzarella:

                          http://www.mexgrocer.com/42743-12305....

                          Substitutes:
                          http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Articles...
                          http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/21...

                          Anyway, I'm thinking the lump can be grated or there is some type of string cheese shredder that can be found on-line too ?

                          Now I know why it's hard to come by though, it's more expensive than other cheeses that are substitutes and that said, you won't find it at the Tex Mex restaurants. I ate here once and the food has me working overtime to find a close substitute on the East coast without going to a place that breaks the bank:

                          http://www.guelaguetzarestaurante.com/

                          Sure we have Mexican restaurants here in Miami that are the more mainstream, Tex Mex food, but to be honest, the food at Gueleguetza, the prices are a bonus, it's hard to sit in front of a plate of Tex Mex and try to enjoy it. I'm tired of eating Mexican restaurants that serve you food that looks like a reheated frozen tv dinner and passing it off as authentic. My mom makes excellent enchiladas and burritos, I have that recipe somewhere and I'm going to go into production at home.

                          Florida City and Homestead, FL there is a higher concentration of Mexican people. But that's a long way to drive for me. But to get better authentic quality you have to do what you have to do. And it's a lot closer than LA, CA.

                        2. Just go up to 116th St and walk into any of several Mexican markets.