Region: Val Taleggio region in northern Italy
Texture: semi- soft
Taleggio is a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese from the Valtaleggio region in northern Italy. It is named after Val Teleggio, a valley in the Province of Bergamo in the region of Lombardy.
The rind is stamped with the letter T. There may be some mold on the rind, or the cheese may be coated with a wax coating.
It has a strong, pungent aroma yet is mild in flavour and features tangy, meaty notes with a fruity finish. The texture of the cheese is moist-to-oozy with a very pleasant melt-in-your-mouth feel. It is a rich cheese, with at least 48% milk fat. Taleggio is aged at least 35 days. As it ages further, its flavor becomes sharper, its interior becomes yellower, and its texture becomes less firm.
Taleggio has been around since at least the 11th century and perhaps even before. Traditionally it was made in autumn and winter, when herds of cows were moved from the Alps down to warmer pastures. These cattle were “tired”, or stracche in the Lombardo dialect. Originally the cheese was aged in caves in the valley where it originated, but in modern times it is usually aged in cellars. Taleggio is a PDO cheese, meaning that it’s name is protected in Europe.
The combination of the soft texture, pungent aroma, and buttery flavours has proven to be addictive especially when spread on fresh crusty bread. Taleggio pairs nicely with Italian Nebbiolo wines, as well as a wide range of reds and whites.