Taleggio…”My Father’s Smelly Feet”
January 8, 2009
The Lady brought home a new cheese this week that could only be described as “stinky”. When she unwrapped it, The Man asked her if she had lost her mind. He then turned to me, the feline foodie, and declared that I had my work cut out for me. The Man considers me a finicky eater…little does he know…the smellier the better. Remember, I have been known to eat Mydaus marchei on occasion and when riled, it doesn’t get any stinkier…but I digress.
The cheese The Lady shared is an Italian semi-soft delicacy known as Taleggio. It is made in the Italian region of Lombardy and aged in caves. It is a spongy cheese with a edible washed rind. The rind is a pink-orange color and The Lady has to clean it before cutting and wrapping the cheese for sale.
Despite its pungent aroma, this cheese is rather mild in taste and a bit on the salty side; but a good salty. It is very creamy and has a nutty after taste.
When sampled in the Kiosk, The Lady says it sells well.
The Lady told The Man (and The Cat listened) about a customer who came in looking for a soft Italian cheese that had been used in a strata recipe that he saw prepared on PBS. He couldn’t remember the name but after a few questions, The Lady suggested it might be Taleggio and offered a sample. The customer liked the taste and called his wife over to sample it as well. She was Italian and when she tasted it she exclaimed, “I remember this cheese from my childhood; we called it ‘My Father’s Smelly Feet’.” It turned out it was her father’s favorite cheese and because of its strong aroma, the children had nicknamed it. It brought back happy memories for her. They bought more than enough for their strata recipe; she wanted to have it on hand for snacking.
I give Taleggio 3 out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: It melts wells and is a nice choice for risotto. The Lady likes to sauté polenta patties then melt Taleggio on top. She serves this with sautéed mushrooms as an appetizer…quite yummy, except for the polenta and the mushrooms…you can also toss a few cubes in a radicchio salad or with bruschetta for a nice tangy addition. As a feline foodie with a sleuth bent, I conducted a google search for recipes using Taleggio and found that omelets and risotto dishes are popular. I also discovered that Taleggio is popular in grilled cheese sandwiches…now that’s what I’m talking about…
Wine Pairings: Whites such as Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc. It also pairs well with Barbera and Chianti. You can even enjoy it with Muscat or a late-harvest Jurancon.
Beer Pairings: Double Chocolate Stout – this makes it almost like a dessert treat.
Source: Cow’s Milk