SXSW ‘Quesoff:’ Dipping a chip in some of Austin’s best

SXSW ‘Quesoff:’ Dipping a chip in some of Austin’s best

SXSW ‘Quesoff:’ Dipping a chip in some of Austin’s best
March 13
19:25 2018

If you ask any Texan what makes Texas so great, they will most likely boast about many things: country music, football, sunsets and — most importantly — queso.

A few Austin-based queso makers were put to the test today at South by Southwest as part of the annual “Quesoff,” hosted by Washington State Wine. Festival-goers were able to swing by the SouthBites Trailer Park this afternoon from 2-4 p.m. to taste some of Austin’s gooiest, cheesiest quesos.

First up was JuiceLand’s cashew-based vegan queso. The texture for this queso was surprisingly reminiscent of any other dairy-based queso — it didn’t miss any of the flavor notes you’d find at your local favorite taco shop. The queso was equally gooey and thick and was garnished with some cilantro, making this a perfect paring with a crispy, crunchy tortilla chip.

The “Quesoff” competition was held at the SouthBites Trailer Park on Tuesday, March 13. SouthBites is home to a range of food trucks where SXSW attendees can grab a bite to eat. Photo by Nina Quatrino

Next in line was Cheesus. This queso was the thickest of the lot and had a taste very similar to the Tostito’s Salsa Con Queso dip. This queso was the spiciest of all the brands, but don’t let that scare you — even those sensitive to spice could easily handle the blend of Latin flavors.

If you’re a fan of a texture-packed, chip-breaking queso, the Franklin Barbecue queso is the one for you. This queso was topped with a hint of spicy pink sauce, chives and a delicious blend of smokey bacon and pulled pork. One order of this meat-heavy queso will definitely fill you up.

To wrap things up, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ brought it back to the basics with its original queso. This queso was quite plain but still satisfying. Valentina’s also offered a hickory smoked version, which packed more of a punch.

So, which queso was the best? I’d have to give the honor to JuiceLand. There aren’t many things Texans can do better than queso, and out of all my queso-eating experiences, JuiceLand blew other quesos out of the water. The best part about it is that you’re able to share it with your lactose intolerant or vegan friends.

Featured Image: Festival-goers were able to try some of Austin’s best local queso makers at a South by Southwest “Quesoff” event. Queso options ranged from meat-topped cheesey blends to cashew-based vegan options. Photo by Nina Quatrino

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Kaitlin Pennell

Kaitlin Pennell

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