Taleggio is one of the classic Italian cheeses and has been around since the Roman period.
A soft, raw cow’s milk cheese it has a thin rind that has a slight pinkish hue and a distinctive grey-greenish mould that assists with the maturing of the cheese.
Unlike the majority of other cheeses, taleggio is quadrangular in shape. Taleggio reigns from the Lombardy region, with links to Val Taleggio located on the western border of the province of Bergamo. To ensure the authenticity of taleggio, it has been recognised as a D.O.P. (Denomination of Origin Protect) cheese since 1996.
Traditionally the cheese is kept on wooden shelves in chambers and in caves, and the rind is washed once a week with saltwater which helps to produce the unique flavour of this cheese.
Taleggio is mild, but has a fruity tang to it, and works exceptionally well in a risotto or on polenta as it melts well.
Available size: 250g, 500g, 1kg, 2kg whole cheese.
£5.95 – £49.00
I know that this is traditionally a French recipe, but that’s what happens when you are an Italian living in the UK that loves food – borders don’t have meaning anymore (not recently let’s be honest!)
And that’s what food and cooking really is – the mixing of culture and ingredients – bellissimo!
I have stayed true to the original French recipe from Larousse Gastronomique, the Holy Grail, a present from my English Knight, Rob.
Tartiflette is a gratin. The recipe was invented in Savoie in the 1980s to promote the sale of the regional cheese Reblochon, which here I am going to substitute with Taleggio, both of which are wash rind cheeses. The name Tartiflette derives from the local name, tartifle, for a small type of potato.
First, preheat the oven to 180 C.
Boil the peeled potatoes in boiling water until tender.
Finely chop the onion and sweat in a frying pan with a spoon of olive oil, then add the smoked pancetta cut into lardons.
Generously butter a gratin dish.
Thickly slice the potatoes and arrange half of them in a layer at the base of the gratin dish.
Add half of the lardons and onion and cover with the remaining potatoes. Finish with a layer of lardon and onions.
Spread 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche over the surface.
Slice the Taleggio cheese, at least 1 cm thick, and place the pieces to cover all of the surface.
Pour 1 glass of dry white wine (or cider) into the dish as stock.
Pop in the dish in the oven for 30 minutes, until the Taleggio has melted and browned to form a gratin.