Taleggio is one of the most common washed rind, soft ripened cheeses available in America. Although it hails from Lombardy, Italy it is usually quite cheap even here in Utah, ranging from $15-$20/lb around town.

Washed rind cheeses should have a nice orange color to them with slimy/tacky surface. The sad thing is that at most cheese counters you will find it quite sickly and discolored.Recently I have seen them black, even green to grey. Not yummy for this type of cheese.

Luckily cheese mongers can avoid this easily with twice per day rind smearing with the appropriate brine. We do this in our cave and have a special increased 97% humidity zone for them. When all this care is taken, even a rind that comes off the truck dry, sick and discolored can turn the perfect tint of orange after 2 weeks to a month of rehab.

Post rehab Taleggio is a stinky, gooey cow's milk delight. Serve on bread with Burgundian Chardonnays or Pinot Noirs and experience the explosion of tertiary flavors. This style of cheese is why wine was invented and at $13.99/lb throw it in polenta or risotto to make a huge flavor contribution without breaking the bank.

FInd it at Caputo's Deli and other cheese shops.