Taleggio Bring out the Caveman
- Producer - Mauri
- Origin - Italy
- Milk Type - Cow
- Ageing - 6 months
How many cheeses can you name that are aged in (and named after) caves? Well now you can make that 1. And let’s be honest, if cavemen had had a few of these back at the pad, they wouldn’t have needed to club anyone over the head to lure them home…
Taleggio is a gentle but seriously addictive introduction into the world of stinky cheese. It hails from Lombardy in northern Italy, a region made famous by George Clooney sipping Nespressos on the banks of Lake Como (not that he would need cheese to lure anyone back to his lakeside estate either). But it’s the mountainous Alps that form the backdrop to this stunning region where the hard work takes place.
Mauri is a fourth generation family business, and the only company still to mature their Taleggio in natural Alpine caves, which is what gives the cheese its unique flavour. Something to do with the melting ice creating humidity in the caves – and humidity creates perfect conditions for bacterial growth (as we Queenslanders would know). The important thing is that the crunchy, salty mould that develops on the rind is completely different and utterly delicious.
This is the perfect combination of crunchy, stinky rind and soft, gooey centre. Strong earthy and yeasty aromas come from the rind, while the taste is rich yet mild, with a sumptuously creamy texture and meaty notes.
TALEGGIO FACT OF THE DAY
To eat or not to eat the rind? Don’t spend too long wondering, just eat it! It’s where most of the stinky flavour is - the rind of the cheese gets scrubbed with seawater during maturation to encourage the bacterial growth. Don’t worry – it’s the good bacteria… and way more enjoyable than a bottle of Yakult.
Mauri Taleggio in the cave
Photos courtesy of Mauri.