Taleggio cheese is a worthwhile mention in the "stinky cheese" arena. It was first made in Val Taleggio somewhere in the 10th century and is still made in regions of Italy present day. Taleggio is thought to be one of the oldest forms of cheese. Traditionally, the cheese has always been aged in caves from raw cow's milk. The cheese is aged in a cool and humid climate within the cave to prevent the molding process. Throughout the cycle, the cheese is washed once a week with a seawater sponge, in order to ensure mold doesn't develop.
The complete process of aging takes six to ten weeks. Taleggio has a thin crust, or rind with salt crystals. The rind is a rose color with the presence of gray and light green. The cheese itself changes from white to pale yellow with some small circles. Taleggio cheese is soft, almost like paste and is moist. While it does have a strong aroma, it surprisingly has a mild, sweet, buttery flavor with a fruity twist. Some recipes the cheese is used in include pastas, soups, omelets, salads, pizza and crepes. While Taleggio does give off a pungent aroma, when served at room temperature, its flavor has proven to taste good on fresh crusty bread served with a glass of wine.