Carozzi Taleggio DOP
Carozzi Taleggio DOP is from Val Taleggio region of Lombardy in north central Italy. It is a semi-soft smear ripened cheese. The cheese has a Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) from the Italian government. The DOP ensures that products are locally grown and packaged and sets a series of strict guidelines fro production to packaging. Taleggio must be made from cow's milk that is heated to 86° to 97°F. After heating fermented milk and rennet are added and coagulate the milk in 15 to 20 minutes. They break up the curd twice with a rest in between. The curds should be the size of hazelnuts. After a rest the cheese is places in molds and then moved to rooms at 72°-77°F with high humidity. The cheese is washed with seawater once a week to prevent mold infestation. The cheese matures for 6 to 10 weeks. It has a 48% fat content.
The cheese has a big bold funky aroma reminiscent of a teenage boy's bedroom. The flavors of the cheese come in much milder than the smell with buttery mushrooms leading the charge with support from meat and a very pleasant fruity tang. It is very creamy and mild. I am drinking a Brew D’État The New Boss - a Double India Pale Ale - with Pilsner malt, flaked rye, and Cara Belge malt, Summit, Bravo and German Amarillo hops in the kettle and fermented with Voss Kviek. Voss Kviek is a traditional Norwegian yeast that produces a lot of orange citrus flavors and you can taste citrus from both the beer and the hops. The fruit flavors of both the beer and the cheese build on each other. The rye flavors also come through and one bite of the cheese has you thinking a rye bread sandwich. Both the cheese and the beer have a little bitter on the finish that work together. The beer is complex with a lot of layered and varied flavors and the cheese finds ways to work with all of them. The cheese coats the mouth and the coating builds as you eat more cheese. The beer interacts with the coating and produces a variety of interesting flavors in the aftertaste. The two together create a flavor fest. I rate the cheese and the pairing 85. Taleggio pairs well with fruit or honey and also melts nicely and works well in pasta dishes.