Mexican Fondue

18 Aug

I have seen ‘queso fundido’ advertised on lots of menus in cantinas all over Mexico.

I understood that cheese was at least a significant ingredient in this popular dish, but beyond this educated guess I had little idea of what queso fundido might be.

Given that I am a cheese fan, I decided to take the plunge this afternoon and order the unfamiliar ‘queso fundido con chorizo’.

Turns out that ‘fundido’ simply means ‘melted’, and so queso fondido is essentially Mexican fondue.***

I received exactly what I ordered; a little bowl of bubbling hot melted cheese with little pieces of chorizo stirred through, with a plate of maize tortillas on the side. As I ate the dish the cheese quickly started to cool down and became very stringy like mozzarella.

Most likely I was eating Oaxaca cheese, which is a white, stringy cow’s milk cheese that is sold in long thin straps wrapped into a ball (like yarn).

Queso fondidio isn’t my favourite Mexican meal, because it is just a little bit too oily and, well,a little bit too cheesy, for one person to enjoy alone. Though I think it would make a great tapas plate to share with friends. If you are interested in experimenting I found a good recipe on the NY Post website.

***Actually ‘fundido’ is closer to meaning ‘molten’ or ‘smelted’, which is usually a term used to describe metals not dairy products. The apparent influence of mining on Mexican culture is very interesting.

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