We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Taleggio Cheese?

By Tracey Parece
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Taleggio cheese is a mild cheese that comes from the Lombardy region of Italy and has a deceptively pungent and tangy aroma. Also known as Stracchino di Milano or stracchino, this cheese is made from cow's milk and has a thin salted crust. Traditionally, taleggio is aged on wooden planks in caves for six to ten weeks. To promote the growth of mold and prevent discoloration of the cheese, it is washed weekly with a seawater sponge.

Traditional taleggio cheese is made with raw, whole cow's milk. Taleggio cheese made with unpasteurized milk is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cannot be imported into the United States. Modern taleggio cheese is made with pasteurized milk in factories and aged in cellars. This process lends a brighter color to the finished product. Other ingredients, such as spices, nuts, and raisins, are sometimes used to add flavor and texture to the cheese. It has an extremely high fat content that approaches 50 percent.

Taleggio cheese is widely considered to be one of the world's oldest soft cheeses and dates to before the 10th century A.D. The cheese melts smoothly and easily and has been commonly referred to as salty, fruity, mellow, creamy, and even stinky. It has a washed rind with a reddish-orange color and becomes softer the longer it ages. Its flavor and color also deepen as it ages. Once the cheese is cut, the aging process will cease.

Wines that pair well with taleggio cheese include Italian Nebbiolo wines, Merlot, Riesling, and Sauternes. Other appropriate wine pairings are Barolo, Soave, Chianti Riserva, or Barbaresco. Many people enjoy it spread on crusty Italian bread, paired with fruit, or melted on pasta. It can also be used in salads, bruschetta, polenta, and risotto.

The name taleggio comes from the Val Taleggio — an alpine valley in the Italian region of Lombardy. Val Taleggio is shared between the provinces of Bergamo and Lecco. It is well known for its cow's-milk cheeses, such as taleggio cheese.

There are variations in the preparation of taleggio cheese. When the rind is covered with mold, patches of green or gray mold may be seen on it. These patches of mold are commonly called bloom. Instead of encouraging mold to grow on the rind by washing it with a seawater sponge, the cheese can be coated in wax. The most common shapes for this cheese are rectangles and squares.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By GlassAxe — On Jun 21, 2011

One of my favorite Italian soft cheeses is Mascarpone. My wife has a recipe for the best tiramisu. What makes it so special is the dark chocolate espresso Mascarpone cheese she uses. The cheese is delicate, smoky and sweet, and it plays very well with the other subtle flavors in Tiramisu. I look forward to holidays because I know she is going to whip up her famous Tiramisu.

By Georgesplane — On Jun 20, 2011

I once went to a Mediterranean tapas bar and had a cheese plate that had one cheese in particular that I cannot recall the name of. The cheese was a Spanish blue that had undertones of chocolate. The rind was a pale brown. It reminded me of a Valdeon, but not as intense. It was definitely a stinky cheese, likely only cave aged 20 to 30 days or so. It might have had a slight citrus tone as well.

The cheese had a uniqueness to it much like a fine Ethiopian Yirgachaffee brings to a cup of coffee. Spicy fruity, chocolatey, and in the case of the cheese creamy and grainy at the same time. Someone please help me figure out what kind of cheese this is. I think it is a Goat cheese, maybe a cow and goat cheese mix.

By Fiorite — On Jun 19, 2011

@PelesTears- I love a good cheese. I recently bought a little raw milk Taleggio from a specialty cheese shop in Brooklyn that was great. I would say the taste was a little different from what you described, but it had mushrooms added to it, likely changing the flavor. Honestly, the cheese was more savory in my opinion, tasting somewhat like beef stroganoff-I think it was the mushrooms. You are right that the cheese is mild, but it smells like the stinkiest cheese you can find. This is probably what elicits the pungent flavor from people. I think it would be great melted on a white pizza pie and served with a nice pilsner.

By PelesTears — On Jun 18, 2011

My Grandmother lives in Switzerland so when my mother goes to visit she is always bringing back European treats that the FDA would throw a fit over (personally, I do not see the big deal). Last time she went was for my grandmother's birthday around Easter, and she brought back those candy eggs with the toys inside and some Italian Taleggio cheese. We had a great Easter brunch of poached eggs, smoked salmon, a little caviar, toast points, and crusty bread with Taleggio and quince. My two year old even ate one of the chocolate eggs without choking to death on the toy inside (dark sarcasm).

The cheese is a great combination of pungent (by American standards), fruity, and rich. If any cheese lover ever happens to run across a good specimen of this cheese, it is definitely worth the money.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.