Culinary delight from Yucatán to the world.
Without a doubt this is one of Mérida’s most representative and distinctive dish. The Queso Relleno, or Filled Cheese (literally translated) fuses mayan and spanish culture consolidating the ‘mestizo’ heritage, same that originated a vast of delicious and rich dishes, widely recognized all over the world.
The weather in the peninsula played an important part in the making of this dish. The spanish, who arrived on the early stages of XVI and XVIII century, brought with themselves a set of traditions and culinary recipes completely unknown to the mexican, among these: the love for cheese.
We know that cheese decomposes easily for being dairy, but thanks to dutch’s cheese processing and high resistance to humid climate, it became popular in mayan land. It started being importe../../../atractivos/queso-relleno/d by the spanish_ who referred to it as __8220.css;ball of cheese” due to its sphere like shape.
There are numerous stories regarding the origin of this dish but, to certain truth, no one knows who or where was Queso Relleno invented. Nevertheless, it is believed that the dutch’s cheese “Edam” was the father to it. Later on, the cheese ball infuses to some of the world’s oldest ingredients such as: mesoamerican tomato, spanish pork and mayan kol.
How is it prepared?
Not everyone has the ability or patience to prepare one of this babies. It is served on special occasions but you can enjoy this delicacy at any yucatecan kitchen.
Its main ingredient is dutch’s famous cheese: Edam. You make a hole (whichever side you prefer) with a spoon taking out all of its filling, like you’d normally do carving a pumpkin. Make sure the wax coating is removed.
On a separate pan ground beef with chopped onions, tomatoes, onions, xcatik chili, salt and peppers, raisins, olives and capers is being cooked. After simmering for 20 minutes layers of cooked eggs are added to the filling.
Add the meat filling to the carved cheese ball and let it cook at bain marie for 35 minutes, do not exceed 180°.
Once the cheese is hardened, you can cut the portions as if were a piece of cake. You can add tomato sauce as a topping.
What makes it so special?
This dish is highly acclaimed, not only by local citizens, but by foreigns all over the world. It represents a clash of cultures as well as flavors.
This dish is infused with different types of textures and aromas; the strong flavor of the Edam cheese: ripe, pungent and salty, combined with the ground beef and soft texture of the cheese, makes heaven in your mouth possible.
How do you eat it?
It has really strong flavors so it is best enjoyed with a side of tortillas. For the brave ones, you can add drops of chile habanero.