Do you remember the first time you went down on a fine young thing? There was something sweet and yeasty, yet slightly sour, with just a tang of manure? You're thinking of Taleggio. The cunnilingus of the cheese world. This stuff has made more history than LiLo by the time she turned legal. In our golden age of Google, smartphones, and digital background checks, let me shorten the history lesson so we can get down to the fun stuff.
Taleggio has been around since the Romans ran this shit.
It is always made from cow's milk.
It used to be produced exclusively in the Val Taleggio region of northern Italy, but like all that is fucked in this world, globalism took ahold. Nowadays, the cheese is also made in Lombardy, Italy (drat).
I think that's enough of that.
Now on to the show:
Once upon a time, there was a little-square-washed rind cheese. We shall call her Tal. Tal was a little stinky, a little gooey, and slightly loose—so everyone loved her. They all loved her so much that they all wanted a piece of her proverbial pie. Little Tal only had so much to give, and with such high demand that her dad, who we shall call "Daddy G," needed to figure out a way to turn little Tal all the way out. Daddy decided that if he couldn't give out Tal to everyone, then he would try to make more Tal's to service his johns—customers. Like all good things, it's hard to recreate perfection. Suddenly, everyone and their mother—I know, kinky right, but no judgment—were slurping up the subpar little sibling of Tal. Time passed and little Tal became less supple, less tasty, less cared for. All of Tal's siblings flooded the streets, and soon no one remembered what little Tal tasted like, or felt like, or even if she was real or just a fading dream of something special. Daddy G sold off all the little siblings to colleagues that had heard of her amazing lineage, and soon no one cared anymore. But Tal had a fairy godmother who was looking after her. And once all the rubbery, plastic fakes became the popular kids in school, the fairy godmother decided that now was the perfect time. She blew Tal a big kiss, and POOF, the real tasty Tal came back to life. So, the moral of the story?
Good luck with that, but I will tell you that the greatest things in the cheese world are made on a small scale with love and hard work. Even if you have tasted a Taleggio from some sleazy, bougie grocer, you need to taste her again when she's made from a small dairy farmer who still looks her in the eyes when she's made.