Taleggio is a washed-rind cheese that is strong in aroma but relatively gentle in taste, with sweet notes and a fruity tang. It is semi-soft in texture and named after Val Taleggio, the mountain valley in Northern Italy from where it originated as far back at the 10th Century. During maturation it is regularly dry salted or brine washed to develop its distinctive salmon-pink rind and pungent aroma. Read more
A bit whiffy for some but surprisingly mild in flavour and melts to a lovely creamy consistency.
Country of Origin
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In 1996 Taleggio was awarded DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta / Protected Designation of Origin) status. It can be made from pasteurised or unpasteurised milk. An important part of the make process is maturation of the square-shaped cheeses in the natural caves of Valassina or modern maturing chambers at 2-6 degrees, always on wooden planks, with regular washing in brine or dry-salting.
Maturation takes six to ten weeks during which time a thin, salmon-pink rind develops over the cheese. The combination of temperature and salt promotes the growth of particular bacteria, moulds and yeasts that ripen the cheese and give it both its distinctive colour and aroma. The rind of Taleggio darkens in colour as the cheese ages and the taste of the cheese intensifies, becoming more pungent and tangy.
Taleggio tastes delicious when grated on piquant green salad leaves or eaten with fresh fruit such as apples, pears or figs. It also melts well making it perfect for sprinkling on rice and pasta dishes.
Our wine expert, Katie Goodchild from Heritage Wines recommends Nunzio Ghiraldi ‘Il Gruccione’ 2017 -
“Sometimes you find a pairing that is so fantastic the notion of work goes out the window and you simply can’t stop indulging. That’s what happened when I tasted Taleggio with a white wine from Italy’s Lugana wine region.
There’s a lot going on with this cheese. It’s a wash-rind cheese (washed once a week throughout ripening); it’s soft, creamy, slightly melting yet firm and crumbly. It’s herbaceous, aromatic, sweet and sour. Where to start when choosing a wine match? I decided to opt for a white wine and one whose body would match that of the cheese.
Lugana is a small wine region in the north west of Italy. Production is small so prices are higher than the average Italian white wine, but the quality of wine from Lugana is exceptional. Nunzio Ghiraldi ‘Il Gruccione’ 2017 is full-bodied with notes of ripe peach and nectarine, lemon zest, a hint of fennel and a creamy finish. The perfect match to Taleggio’s own flavour profile. Each mouthful is a joy, the palate refreshed from the wine’s rounded acidity. In my opinion, this match needs no other accompaniments."