Quesadilla de Queso

A cake made with Parmesan Cheese. This is a pastry unlike anything you’ve tried. It’s sweet and savory, crisp yet fluffy and the sesame seeds are a delicious, traditional topping.

There are as many quesadilla recipes in El Salvador as there are ovens. Everyone makes it their own way (and often thinks theirs is the best.) My family is from eastern El Salvador – a region known for its dairy products. My family always made our quesadilla using three types of cow’s cheese: viejo (aged), duro blandito (semi-hard), and requeson (very soft, similar to cottage cheese) and milk. While some families incorporate rice flour with the wheat flour, we never did. Ours was baked daily, every morning, in a clay oven that my father made. The quesadilla sold in our bakery was known as La Quesadilla de Oriente (eastern–style) and was more savory than sweet.

When I moved to San Francisco, I missed the flavor of the quesadilla made in our bakery. So, I set out to create a recipe that would approximate the taste without having to build my own oven. I experimented with cottage cheese, sour cream, and Mexican queso fresco until I realized that by using Italian Parmesan, I could recreate the flavor I craved.

Many people who taste my Quesadilla have never had a Salvadoran Quesadilla before and they liken it to everything from salty cheese cake, to corn bread, to a simple taste of heaven.  When Salvadorans taste it, they recognize my eastern roots, and when I taste a little of what I’ve just baked, I taste home.


Giustos Organic Cake Flour, Parmesan Cheese, Clover Natural Milk, Unsalted Clover Natural Butter, Cage Free Eggs, Baking Powder, Sesame Seeds

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