Cheese Profile: Taleggio (Plus Recipe)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

-The rosey-orange colored rind makes it easy to identify. Of course, the label helps too.-

The rosy-rinded Taleggio is one of the most known of the stinky cheeses. Yet don't let this cheese's washed rind rondo turn you away; while the smell may be overpowering with a somewhat sweaty, surely surly smell the taste is tangy, meaty, and finishes fruity. This rounded flavor pairs well with caramelized onions, apples, cured meats, and strong mustards.

-It may not look like much, but the flavor and smell is crazy intense.-

The cheese gains its flavor and appearance by being set on wood shelves for six to ten weeks, and washed with a seawater sponge to prevent infection from unwanted molds. Developed in the Valtaleggio region in northern Italy, near Lombardy from where it gets its name Taleggio's addictive flavor has made it one of the most popular semi-soft cheeses worldwide.

While delicious on crusty bread I love it melted into a grilled cheese paired with speck (a juniper-flavored ham with slightly coniferous flavors), and strong mustard.

-Probably one of the tastiest grilled cheeses I've had in a long while.-

Grilled Cheese with Taleggio and Speck

sourdough bread
coarse grain mustard
4 thick slices of speck, diced (optionally, use proscuitto or ham)
6 ounces of Taleggio, sliced and rinds discarded
various mixed greens of your choice
olive oil

1. Lightly spread mustard over slices of bread. Sprinkle in the diced speck and gently layer on the mixed greens. Top with another slice of bread.

2. Lightly grease skillet and place over medium heat. Brush the outside of the sandwiches with olive oil. Place in the skillet and press down using a spatula and cook until crisp and golden. After about a minute flip the sandwich, press and cook for another minute until golden.

3. Cut in half and serve immediately.

-A salty and spicy sandwich with melty cheese.-


  1. I'm wondering if you know Felicia, the cheesemonger at Taylor's Market in Sacramento. If not, let me know.. I'd be glad to make an introduction! She just finished up her first cheese class at Taylor's recently. I think you two would get along royally!

    -Michael (@ OneSpeed)

  2. Yum. I have some Taleggio in the fridge, can't wait to try this when I get home from my trip, if it hasn't taken over everything by then...

  3. Michael - Hey, Michael! How are you!? Sadly, no I don't. I don't get to Taylor's much since I live in Arden, though I was planning to go soon to check on some cheesemaking supplies. I would love that to meet her. Thank you so much! =)

    HeatherinSF - You know I bought some cheap tupperware to keep my cheese in, that way it gets to breath a bit and the smell doesn't take over everything else.

  4. My wife & I bought some Taleggio last night, made grilled sandwiches, and served them with a side tomato/avocado salad. Totally yummy!

  5. Taleggio is a wonderful cheese though, as you said, incredibly stinky. When I have some in my fridge, I typically have to wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap, one layer of foil and then stick the whole thing in a ziploc bag. The grilled cheese sandwich with speck looks fantastic.

  6. Wow, what a sandwich. I haven't had tallegio in a long time but that sandwich is getting my attention.

  7. I love speck! Where did you buy the speck for your sandwich? Great-looking sandwich, btw!

  8. This sandwich looks amazing...and has all of my favorite things


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