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Caf Column: the art of the quesadilla


Tacos are good, burritos are great, but for me, nothing can top a well made Stav quesadilla. With some creativity and some perfecting of your own personal recipe, the quesadilla can become your go-to fallback option when other entrees don’t pique your interest.


In its base form, the quesadilla is a tortilla with cheese, lovingly compressed in the panini press. I usually use the large, burrito tortilla as my canvas, and I use a healthy portion of the shredded cheese available in the toppings line. Some important things I always make sure to include — firstly, some creamy texture. Sour cream in a small portion can add a lot to the cheesy texture, but the best addition is the cheese sauce that’s available occasionally with pretzel sticks. Cheesy pretzel sauce elevates the quesadilla to the stars. The second important part of an excellent quesadilla is a crispy outside, and nothing works better than just a little bit of butter on the outside of the tortilla — once panini pressed, it brings out a salty, crispy texture that elevates the whole dish.


Congratulations, you’ve mastered the basic quesadilla, but let’s be real — it’s the tortilla line equivalent of a grilled cheese. Delicious, but it needs some spice. Now it’s time to experiment — look to add toppings that bring out your favorite flavors. My go-tos are chicken, diced tomato salsa, and tortilla chips in the filling. Throw in some hot sauce! Working with brunch ingredients for a breakfast rendition is a mouthwatering option. 


The most important lesson I can share about quesadilla making comes from the heart — if you’re not having fun making it, it won’t taste good. It’s just that simple.

Justin Vorndran is from Osceola, Wisc.

His major is English.