Tasting Notes: Taleggio Cheese

See…I told y’all that I’d be digging into Lombardy Cheeses. I had picked this one up at DeLaurenti, who said it was imported from Italy. I have my doubts. Either this is a pastuerized soft cheese imported into America, or it’s a raw milk Taleggio trying to pawn itself off as Italian. My palate is not that keen to be able to discern the difference.

At any rate, Taleggio was first made in the valley of the same name, located in the historic province of Bergamo. It is an uncooked, soft cheese made from whole cow’s milk. The cheese is moulded into a rectangular bloc 18-20 centimetres lengthways and weighs from 1.7 to 2.2 kilos. The minimum ripening period is 35 days. As American Customs do not allow raw milk cheese less than 60 days into the country, you can understand my skepticism on how “authentic” this cheese is, either in lineage or in production.

That being said…I think I have a new favorite cheese, tied for first with several other varieties.

Look:At room temperature it looks like a melted provolone. It’s looks creamy with a nice soft, pale yellow look about it. The rind is edible and looks almost like a crust from a piece of white bread.

Aroma:Strong and pungent, yet beneath there is a distinct creamy smell with a bit floral.

Taste: At room temperature the cheese melts smoothly in the mouth. It has a nice velvety texture. At first it doesn’t taste like much, but it crescendos nicely into a strong light hazelnut flavor with a bit of butter underneath. Then, for some reason, it reminds me of a really good oyster, nutty yet a bit briney.

Overall: So good. Just…oh my goodness. So good. A great cheese that brings a little bit of joy to my life. A definite purchase again.

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