Hailing from Italy's Lombardy region where it's been made since at least the 10th century, this rich, semisoft cheese is made from whole cow's milk. Its flavor can range from mild, sweet and nutty to rich and mushroomy, depending on its age. The rind is thin and soft and varies in color from yellow to orange to pink with spots of gray mold. When young, Taleggio's interior is pale yellow and its texture creamy and pliable. As it ages it darkens to deep yellow and becomes rather runny. Taleggio, which is made in 4- to 5-pound squares, belongs to a category of cheeses know as stracchino. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.