Taleggio is a semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavour is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang.
Taleggio and similar cheeses have been around since Roman times. The cheese was solely produced in the Val Taleggio until the late 1800s, when some production moved to the Lombardy plain to the south.
The production takes place every autumn and winter. First, acidified milk is mixed with rennet taken from milk calves. The cheese is set on wooden shelves in chambers, sometimes in caves as per tradition, and matures within six to ten weeks. It is washed once a week with a seawater sponge to prevent mould growth and to form an orange or rose crust.