7 Great Taleggio Cheese Substitutes
Are you a cheese lover? Then you simply must try Taleggio! This semi-soft cheese originates from Italy and has a rich history, distinctive flavor, and creamy texture. It is made from cow’s milk and washed with brine, which gives it a pungent aroma.
Taleggio takes its name from the Val Taleggio region of Lombardy, Italy, where it was first produced – it has been made in this region for over a thousand years. The cheese was originally made by dairy farmers to use up milk leftover from making other cheeses. Taleggio was aged in caves, which provided the perfect environment for the cheese to mature, resulting in a creamy, delicious cheese.
This washed-rind cheese is made from cow’s milk. The milk is heated and rennet is added. The curd this creates is then cut and drained, and the cheese is placed in molds, when it is salted and left to ripen for a few weeks. During this time, the cheese is washed with brine, which helps to develop its flavor and aroma. The cheese is then left to age for a few more weeks so it can develop a soft, gooey texture and distinctive flavor.
Taleggio has a unique flavor that is both tangy and buttery, a soft, creamy texture, and a pungent aroma. The flavor of Taleggio is best when served at room temperature. The cheese pairs well with a variety of foods, including crusty bread, fresh fruit, and cured meats. It is also a great cheese to use in cooking, as it melts easily and adds a rich, creamy flavor to dishes.
Taleggio should be kept refrigerated until you are ready to serve, but before serving be sure to let it come to room temperature as this will allow it to soften and develop its full flavor.
Great as it is, some people just don’t like pungent cheeses, so here are some excellent taleggio substitutes!
Brie is a soft cheese that originates from France. It has a creamy texture and a mild, buttery flavor.
Although it is not as pungent as Taleggio, brie can make a good substitute due to its similar texture and because it melts easily. Brie can be served on its own or with a variety of accompaniments, including crackers, bread, and fresh fruits.
It is known for its bright white, powdery rind that is edible, and when cut into, brie oozes out in a semi-solid form. It is often served chilled, spread on pancakes, bread or whipped. Or it can be sliced in wedges if it is young brie (as it gets older, it gets softer and softer.) Brie is sometimes baked and served warm, gooey and melty with red pepper jelly or jam.
Like brie, camembert is a soft rind cheese from France that gets softer and stronger as it ages. It has a white, edible rind that many people love (but some remove before eating.) Whether this cheese is spread on crackers, served with fruit or baked and eaten as a dip, Camembert is a delicious alternative to Taleggio!
It was first made in the late 18th century in Camembert, Normandy in Northwest France and is now a popular cheese enjoyed by people all over the world! Taleggio is similar in flavor and texture to Camembert, with a slightly lower fat content making it less buttery but equally delicious and smooth!
Gorgonzola is a blue-veined cheese that originates from Italy. It has a strong, tangy flavor and a crumbly texture.
Although it is not as creamy as Taleggio, it can still be a good substitute due to its pungent flavor.
Gorgonzola is a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes including salads, pizzas, risottos and pasta, and makes an excellent addition to a cheese platter. Unlike Gorgonzola, Taleggio does not have blue veins and does not have the same pungent, sharp flavor, but these cheeses are both intense, robust and delicious!
4. Fontina Cheese
Fontina is a semi-soft to hard cheese that is originally from the feet of the Alps in Aosta Valley, Italy. It has a nutty and buttery mild to medium flavor, which makes it a great substitute for Taleggio.
Like Taleggio, Fontina melts easily, making it a good option for cooking. It is a versatile cheese that pairs well with a variety of foods, including cured meats, crusty bread, berries, fruits and fish, and it is said to have a signature nutty flavor that lingers on the palette.
It is an extremely palatable cheese, which is mild but distinctively nutty, slightly sweet with a bit of that umami flavor that cheese lovers know and love. This cheese is characterized by its waxy rind and makes an excellent substitute for any cheese but especially Taleggio!
Emmentaler is a semi-hard cheese from Switzerland that contains medium sized holes, similar to Swiss but it is much firmer.
It has a delightfully intricate and complex flavor – slightly sweet, aromatic and nutty, with no tones of acidity or bitterness. It goes great with poultry, ripe fruit, nuts, seed crackers and more.
Originally from Emme Valley, Emmentaler is traditionally made from raw cow’s milk and aged for up to 18 months. It is meltable, grateable and is always a treat on a cheese board, and is a primary ingredient in many European dishes.
A full bodied, delicious cheese, Gruyère has a lot in common with Taleggio! It is nutty and earthy, with a soft, smooth finish. The reason why Gruyère is so prized is because of the diet of the cows used to produce the milk.
These Alpine cows feed freely in freshwater streams and idyllic hillsides. Its texture is smooth and creamy and it lends well to dishes that require a melty cheese.
When it ages, Gruyère becomes somewhat granular, with salt crystals developing a deeper, richer, saltier flavor. A young Gruyère would make an incredible alternative to Taleggio!
Comté is a fruity, slightly sweet, savory cheese that is both salty and sweet. The clean flavors come from the milk of the cows used to make this cheese and the local creameries that produce the iconic flavors and aromas.
Comté is an outstanding product of the highest quality and makes a fantastic addition to any menu, any cheese board, and any recipe that requires Taleggio.
Taleggio is a unique and delicious cheese, but it may not always be available or accessible. In such cases, it is important to find a suitable substitute to achieve a similar taste and texture. Fontina, Brie, and Gorgonzola are some of the best substitutes for Taleggio.
Each of these cheeses has its own unique flavor and texture, making them versatile options for a variety of dishes. So, the next time you are unable to find Taleggio, try one of these substitutes to enjoy a similar taste and texture.
Related: Most Popular Italian Cheeses