Taleggio is a soft cheese made from cow's milk from the region around Bergamo. It was named after the valley where it was invented: Val Taleggio, near Bergamo. Taleggio is considered one of the oldest soft cheeses in the world at all.
The inhabitants of the valley invented the soft cheese to make cow's milk last longer. They initially stored the cheese - similar to Gorgonzola - in the cool, damp caves of the Alps and in this climate the characteristic red mold was formed. As the cheese ripens, it is washed weekly with salt water and red mold cultures until the typical orange-red cheese rind with its characteristic green-gray mold stains appears.
Taleggio has a distinctly tangy cheese flavor with hints of raisins, nuts and lemons and a subtle barnyard smell. The cheese taste is pleasantly spicy and fruity with nuances of roasted nuts. In addition to Taleggio made in the traditional way from raw milk, there is also a cheese variety made from pasteurized milk. This is less strong and spicy in taste. Taleggio is ideal as the end of a meal, where it can be served with fig mustard or fruit and walnut bread. It is also excellent as a snack with bitter salads such as radicchio or arugula, fully ripe tomatoes, or as an additional seasoning on bruschetta with zucchini and sage. Since Taleggio melts quite well, it is also often used in warm cuisine, for example in risotto or on polenta.