It's not difficult to guess where oaxaca cheese is made, or at least where it originated. This Mexican white cheese often looks remarkably similar to a big ball of mozzarella - and that's because it's made in a similar manner (although oaxaca cheese is made into shapes other than balls). Both oaxaca and mozzarella are in the family of stretched milk cheeses: warm coagulated curds are kneaded and stretched, so that when heated, they have a stringy texture, rather than melting into a smooth and creamy mass.

Oaxaca is a firm, dense, cow's milk cheese and, because it's usually eaten fresh (unaged), the flavour is mild. It's the perfect cheese for quesadillas: melt some butter in a skillet then add a flour tortilla. Spread a quantity of grated oaxaca down one side of the tortilla, then fold the other side over it and press gently. Let the first side cook until lightly toasted in spots, then flip it over (adding more butter to the pan, if necessary) and cook the other side. Serve with salsa.

For nachos, layer fried tortilla chips and grated oaxaca in a heat-proof dish, ending with a top layer of cheese. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until the cheese melts, then serve with salsa. If you like, add other ingredients to the nachos - such as cooked minced meat, refried beans, guacamole and sour cream - but don't go overboard or the tortilla chips will be soggy.