Taleggio is a cheese of very ancient origins, dating back to the tenth century. Production takes place in the Val Taleggio region of Italy, in the province in Bergamo from which the cheese derives its name.
Taleggio was originally made only during certain months of the year as a way of utilizing excess cow's milk from animals making their seasonal trip to and from their summer mountain pastures. 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 with other products or commercialized.
Because of the increasing demand for Taleggio, its production area has progressively extended to the Padana plain. This has led to the start up of small- and medium-scale dairies in the area that have successfully transitioned by balancing traditional production methods and modern innovation.
Today Taleggio is produced and matured in Lombardy, in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Piedmont (province of Novara) and Venetia (province of Treviso).
Taleggio cheese was recognized as a DO cheese (Denomination of Origin) in Italy in 1988.
Despite the strongly aromatic washed rind, flavors are mild and buttery when young, developing a fuller, tangier flavor with prolonged maturing.
The body of the cheese is soft, with only a few eyes (holes), and is a pale, straw-white color that becomes darker under the rind as the cheese matures.