One of the classic cheeses of the cheese world, Taleggio is a wonderful cheese, and one of the most popular of our cow’s milk cheeses. Taleggio comes from Lombardy, Italy, where it’s made from the milk of local cows, and matured in caves for about 6-8 weeks. With a creamy, supple texture and a smooth and almost fruity flavor, Taleggio melts beautiful which makes it a great choice for fondue, paninis, and cooked dishes like risotto and pasta.
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How Taleggio is Made
Taleggio is made from cows’ milk from cows that graze in the gorgeous Val Taleggio valley – which in turn gives the cheese its name. It falls under the category of washed rind cheeses, which are “washed” in brine during the aging process, coaxing fresh, fruity and slightly acidic notes out of the cheese. These intricate flavor characteristics play opposite the wonderfully smooth, velvety texture of Taleggio, with a buttery mouthfeel. Taleggio ages anywhere from six to 10 weeks, so it’s quite a young cheese.
Taleggio is really what’s great about traditional cheesemaking, still made using old, cherished techniques. Washed by hand, and studiously supervised while it ages. Don’t be put off by the intense aroma of taleggio – behind its potent taste lies an incredibly mild cheese, with beautiful fruit notes.
Taleggio is a wonderfully versatile cheese, and one of its secrets is its amazing melting properties. This is a great cheese to add to paninis and grilled cheese, as it melts beautifully. You can easily add it to a fondue or shave it over risotto, polenta, or a plate of pasta. Shave and add to salads or go the simplest way and add Taleggio to your cheese boards!
Substitutes for Taleggio
If you need a substitute for Taleggio, you can turn to Gruyere or Comte as very close substitutes. Fontina cheese will also work as substitute for Taleggio, very close in texture and flavor. For a stronger alternative, try Limburger.