I first heard about (and tasted) Taleggio at a cheese and beer pairing class at Central Market in Dallas back in 2011. The combination was a home-run for my taste buds – I actually have no idea what other cheeses I tasted that night. Somewhere in my yet-to-be-shipped boxes for Oslo is the list of everything we paired in class, so instead of taking a chance on the wrong beer for my recently purchased Taleggio, I decided to pair it with a Rosé which I had sitting in my fridge. It turned out to be a really wonderful pairing!
Made in the northern Valsassina foothills of Italy since the 9th century, Taleggio is a mild, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese that has a fruity tang, which might come as a surprise since its rind is so pungent. How does that rind get so stinky, you ask? Well, to quote Murray’s delicious sounding description: the cheese is “washed with a brine to foster a sticky, orange edible rind while air pumped from the original caves causes a dappling of soft and earthy tasting grey mold.” A dappling of soft and earthy tasting grey mold? Has cheese ever sounded so poetic? I’ll take two, please!
I had a very happy belly after my spontaneous pairing, and I can only hope that you will too if you decide to try Taleggio and Rosé. Close your eyes, take a bite…I can see those Valsassina foothills from here, can’t you?