Taleggio Cheese, unique and delicious
Taleggio cheese is one of many soft, straw-yellow types of Italian cheese. Named for its valley of origin between the provinces of Bergamo and Lecco in Lombardy, the zone that produces Taleggio cheese includes parts of the territories of Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lodi, Milan, Novara in Piedmont, and Treviso in Veneto. According to the rules defining how it’s made, the raw ingredients used in Taleggio must originate in this area, and it can only be produced and aged here.
Mentions of Taleggio cheese date back to the Middle Ages, when the inhabitants of this basin manufactured a quasi-Taleggio in order to conserve milk. In the Renaissance, it was referred to as Milanese stracchino (another famous Italian cheese). The name, which is now applied to an entire category of cheeses, comes from “stracch” in dialect, meaning “tired” or “worn-out” in reference to cattle returning after pasturing in the surrounding mountains. Making Taleggio cheese is hard work.
The word Taleggio was coined in 1944, and in 1979 the consortium that protects its quality and production was set up. It was awarded the DOP label in 1996. Its exquisite flavor lends itself to a number of recipes. Taleggio cheese can be eaten as a starter, main dish, or even as a dessert with fruit.