Tallegio, DOP (Italy) - 1/2 lb.
This creamy Italian cheese is one of the better stinky cheeses--not too tame, not too wild. It's great on crackers or bread, but it's also a good melting cheese and works well in casseroles and even on pizza.
Class: Wash rind
Age: 40 day
*OVERNIGHT SHIPPING ONLY ON THIS PRODUCT*
Taleggio and similar cheeses have been around since Roman times, with Cicero, Cato the Elder, and Pliny the Elder all mentioning it in their writings. The cheese was solely produced in the Val Taleggio until the late 1800s, when some production moved to the Lombardy plain to the south
The production takes place every autumn and winter when the cows are tired. First, the acidified milk is brought to the lab from milk calves. The cheese is set on wood shelves in chambers, sometimes in caves as per tradition, and will mature within six to ten weeks. It is washed once a week with a seawater sponge in order to prevent mold infestation and to prevent the cheese from forming an orange or rose crust.
The story of this cheese begins in the high mountain valley for which the cheese has been named, Val Taleggio. It is located in the Bergamo province of Lombardia, just east of Milan and north of Bergamo.This has been produced since the 9th century, although some people do claim the existence of this cheese goes as far back as the Roman presence in these mountains.
This cheese was first documented in 1200, when it was called 'Stracchino', meaning a tired cheese. The origin of the name 'Stracchino' relates to the Lombard dialect word 'stracch', which means tired or exhausted. It relates to the condition of the herd upon finally reaching the plain after their long stay on the Alpine pastures. The cows, although worn out by the long journey, were still able to produce milk fit for making cheese, and this cheese they called 'Stracchino'.
It is here that the tradition of 'Bergamini' (of Bergamo) was started -- typical characters of the high meadows such as herdsmen, breeders and keepers of the traditional cheese processing rules have been handed down over the generations. They were experts in turning the milk produced in the summer alpine pastures directly into Taleggio, a soft cheese made with whole cows milk, that has a sweet and delicate taste with aromatic hints.
It is important to note that the cheese of the past, made on the higher Alpine pastures, needed to be larger, drier, and longer aged cheese to preserve them due to the rigors of the long and rough trip that would take several days into the more populated valley where the markets were. This would have precluded the production of this cheese, except in small quantities in these high pastures.
This Taleggio reference was originally due more to the high mountain town being the point from which the herds traveled to and from at the beginning and end of the summer months, rather than the place it was made in large quantities. During their journey, they needed to be milked and the inhabitants of this valley began to produce cheese that, once matured in "caves" or at their farms, could be exchanged for other products or commercialized.
The most accessible of these lower valleys was Valsassina, near Lake Como. The important track to Valsassina was through a very steep gorge that included many 'Casere,', which are natural caves cut by gorges that feed in air at the constant temperature of between 37 and 46°F, with a humidity of 85-90%. This is perfectly suited for the aging of these cheeses.
As time moved forward, the access to and from these high pastures improved with better roads, and the popularity of soft cheese increased. The cheese began to be made more on the high meadows closer to the grazing animals, and then transported to the caves and markets of Valsassina. It was, and still is, considered that these Taleggio from the mountains were the richest and the best.
Ingredients - 4 people
1 cup of fresh cream
8 oz of Taleggio cheese
2 Tbsp of finely chopped Spring onions
3/4 lb. of Gnocchi (White or Spinach)
Prepare the gnocchi before hand and leave to rest whilst preparing the Taleggio sauce.
After the gnocchi have been made, cut the rind of the cheese and chop the cheese in small pieces.
Add the cream into a pot a start to warm up in a low heat.
When the cream has warm up add the Taleggio pieces and leave it melt whilst stirring often as to avoid the cheese and cream sticking to the pan. Add the white pepper and salt to your taste.
While the Taleggio sauce is cooking, cook the gnocchi as per our recipe. When the gnocchi are cooked and the sauce has thickened add them to the pan with the sauce and let them mix well together.Add the chopped spring onions and let them cooked whilst the gnocchi and sauce are mixing well.