A method for making soft Italian cheese. Fat content, calorie content and chemical composition, benefits and harms when supplementing the diet. Recipes with Taleggio and the history of the variety.
Taleggio is a soft Italian cheese made from cow's milk, both raw and pasteurized. The variety got its name from the valley in which the recipe was invented. The smell is intense, you can feel the aromas of freshly mown meadow grass and sour milk in it. The taste is sour, creamy, with a fruity-nutty flavor and pleasant salinity. The texture is delicate, soft, slightly fibrous, light straw in the middle of the piece and yellow towards the edges. The crust is thin, rough, the color is heterogeneous - from light pink to brownish, covered with spots of gray mold. It is produced in parallelepiped briquettes with sides of 20-25 cm and a height of 5-7 cm. Head weight - 1, 8-2 kg.
How is Taleggio cheese made?
The variety is easy to make at home. In Italy, you can buy it in a shop and from farmers who have several cows. The production of Taleggio cheese is seasonal - in late autumn and winter. The herd, which grazed in the Alps all the warm season, finally descended, and the animals returned to the plain to rest. Collect the milk produced several times by pouring it into large vats. Often, fermentation is carried out after the start of curdling.
Milk is pasteurized, then cooled to 34 ° C, lactobacilli, calcium chloride, and after a while rennet are added, which ensures rapid fermentation. Taleggio cheese is made like in peasant cheese dairies in the old days, but with one difference. At that time, no rennet was added to speed up and the milk sour on its own. In addition, no pasteurization or boiling was carried out.
The flocculation time is 15 minutes, then the kale is cut into cubes with 1.5 cm edges, 1/3 of the whey is drained until the surface of the cheese grains. Then scoop out the cheese grains with a slotted spoon and place them in molds covered with gauze. At food factories, in the manufacture of varieties, raisins are added to the curd mass, nuts - more often pistachios, lemon juice or chicory. During the first hour, turn it over 2-3 times, leave for another day at 23-25 ° C. Usually oppression is not put, but if the consistency is too soft, it is allowed to install a load weighing 1.5 kg.
First, the surface of the heads is sprinkled with coarse salt and left for a day, then dipped in brine with a concentration of 18% for 12 hours. Then, for the same time, they are placed in salt water - 3% concentration with the dissolved culture of B. linens.
Aging conditions - caves with a temperature of 6 ° C and a humidity of 90%. First, the head is turned over every day, and when the separation of the serum stops, it is washed with brine with molds. The liquid is retained, the new one is not diluted. Under these conditions, bacteria are activated. The ripening period is 4 to 9 weeks. This cheese has a soft and elastic texture.
To get a more mature cheese, the head is wrapped in parchment and left for another 2-3 weeks. In this case, the crust acquires a brighter reddish color and, since washing no longer occurs, it becomes covered with salt crystals. In this case, the texture becomes crumbly, the salinity increases and the nutty aftertaste is more pronounced.
During pre-sale preparation, excess mold is removed from the surface by gently brushing off with a brush, but the salt crystals are retained. Lovers consider the crust to be edible.
When buying this variety, you need to know that the delicate pulp quickly deteriorates, and molds that populate the crust penetrate into the head. The ability to catch an intestinal infection increases if the storage and transportation conditions are violated.
Taleggio cheese recipes
The product melts well, therefore it is often used as an ingredient for preparing various dishes - casseroles, omelets, pasta and even desserts. For sandwiches or hot sandwiches, this is ideal. The taste goes well with fruit - especially with large black grapes.
If you plan to serve the variety on a cheese plate, you will have to cut it with a special "plane". The knife will get bogged down in the sticky pulp, and you won't be able to get an even, beautiful piece.
Taleggio Cheese Recipes:
- Casserole… 150 g of smoked sausage is fried without oil in a non-stick frying pan without a handle. Cut white onions into rings and simmer in vegetable oil. Spread 320 g of washed rice to the onion and sausage, pour a little chicken broth, season with pepper and salt. Cover with a lid and simmer until the rice is cooked. 2 minutes before turning off, add saffron by placing it in a sachet. Empty the middle of the pan, add 130 g of Taleggio cubes, cover with removed rice, level the surface. Bake in an oven preheated to 180 ° C until the cheese is melted. Before serving on a hot casserole, garnish with Taleggio cubes and sprinkle with parsley.
- Pasta casserole… A multi-colored paste - egg yellow, green and red - is boiled and spread in layers, alternating colors, in a form greased with butter. Layers are laid with crushed Taleggio. The next layer is white meat, disassembled into fibers, and then cheese again. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, bake for 15-20 minutes. Decorate with calendula flowers before serving.
- Cuttlefish with zucchini… Cephalopods - 200 g - cut into small pieces, boil for 15 minutes in salted water with an onion. Fry the garlic in a pan to flavor the refined sunflower oil, add pieces of cuttlefish, pour in a little white wine, pepper and salt. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Large zucchini is stewed separately, adding warm water, quite a bit, and olive oil. When the vegetables become soft, give juice and begin to disintegrate, add them to the cuttlefish, add cheese - 50 g, cut into small cubes, and stir over low heat until it melts.
- Risotto… The products are cut: Taleggio - 200 g, ripe pumpkin - 500 g, Parmesan - 50 g, 1 pc. onions and shallots. Fry the whole onion in olive oil until golden brown, spread the pumpkin and bring to softness, add washed rice - 300 g, pour in vegetable broth - 1 liter, little by little. Cook until the rice is aldente, add Taleggio and Parmesan, bring everything to a boil and remove the pan from heat.
- Omelette… The peppers are baked in the oven and then cut into thin strips. Beat eggs with milk, salt, pepper. Fry onions in a frying pan, pour in the egg mixture, add cheese, and sprinkle with pieces of Taleggio on top. Bake under the lid until the egg mixture sets and the cheese melts.
Cheese is introduced into the children's diet only after heat treatment. It is unlikely that kids will refuse such a breakfast. Sausages are cut so as to get "octopuses", that is, on each side into 4 parts lengthwise, not reaching the middle. Spread in a hot frying pan with a piece of butter. While fried on one side, the ends curl up like the tentacles of a cephalopod. Turn over, put a circle of tomato and a slice of cheese on each sausage. Close with a lid. Turn it off until it melts.
In salads, this variety can be substituted for Feta or Ricotta. The taste goes well with fresh herbs, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes. Suitable to be served with fruit wines to enhance its aroma. Bardolino Ciaretto products with a bitter aftertaste and smell of vanilla and cloves are suitable for this variety.
Interesting facts about Taleggio cheese
The history of this variety is quite "ancient".Despite the fact that in manuscript documents mentions of it date back to the 10th century, archaeological research confirms that for the first time a similar product began to be made back in Ancient Rome. On the walls of ceramic cauldrons, the remains of cheese were fossilized, in which, after structural analysis, only lactobacilli were isolated, without additional ferments. Descriptions of cheese briquettes were found in the notes of Pliny the Elder, Cato and Cicero. By the way, the latter endowed the product with healing properties.
The famous adventurer Giacomo Casanova, who visited Sant'Angelo-Lodigiano in 1763, noted the variety when compiling an encyclopedia of cheeses. However, the manuscript remained unfinished.
The valley, which gave the cheese the name Taleggio, is located near Bergamo. The variety was made from the milk of "tired" cows, which, after a long summer grazing in the Alpine mountains, descended into the valley. That is why, until the 13th century, Taleggio was called "Strakkino", which literally translates as "tired". Subsequently, the production of cheeses was divided - soft Strakkino was lowered into caves for ripening, and a red crust began to form on it. That is, it has become a separate variety.
Until the end of the 19th century, the production of Taleggio was territorially limited. Now they began to do it near Milan, Pavlia, Bergamo, in Piedmont and Veneto. In 1988, the variety received the DO mark, and in 1996 it was officially awarded the DOP / PDO quality mark.
When choosing Taleggio, press the crust with your palm. If the cheese is fresh, the surface shape is restored within 15-20 seconds.
To preserve the soft texture and beneficial properties of Taleggio cheese, the uncut head is stored on the refrigerator shelf, wrapped in a damp cotton cloth. Any moisture on the surface must be removed daily. The cut Taleggio will have to be eaten within 2-3 days. If you put the slices in an airtight package, then the pulp will very quickly become slimy and acidify, and if left on the shelf, it will dry out. Both in the first and in the second case, you will not be able to enjoy the exquisite taste.
Watch the video about Taleggio cheese: