What is the Best Substitute for Taleggio Cheese?

by Charlie

Taleggio cheese is one of the most popular variants of cheese around. If you’re a cheese person, it’s quite unlikely that you haven’t had an encounter or two with it.

Taleggio cheese is one of the oldest soft cheeses in existence. It has been around since the Roman Empire.

Luckily, much of its recipe has remained the same, preserving that historical taste and flavor people have always liked. Although mildly flavored, Taleggio has a strong aroma.

As much as a lot of people love Taleggio cheese, what happens when Taleggio is not an option?

What are the best substitutes for Taleggio cheese? The best substitutes for Taleggio cheese are Fontina, Limburger, Gruyere, and Brie cheese. While there are dozens of other plausible substitutes, these four options will offer you striking similarities where it matters and uniqueness where necessary. 

An Overview Of Taleggio Cheese

Taleggio cheese is cave ripened cheese with a mild fruity flavor as well as some tangy undertone. With origins traced to the Lombardy region of Italy, Taleggio cheese has found a special place in the hearts of millions of people globally.

Although Taleggio cheese isn’t as popular in the United States as it is in some countries, it still boasts a very large community of lovers. Owing to its ability to melt easily, Taleggio cheese is a good candidate for melted onto risotto and pasta. It is also a good candidate for a grilled cheese sandwich.

With Taleggio, the possibilities are endless. Slices of Taleggio can also be used to top casserole dishes while it gently melts into an appetizing cream.

Why Replace Taleggio?

In case you’re wondering, why would I ever want to replace my favorite Taleggio cheese? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Unavailability: As widespread as it has gotten, Taleggio cheese isn’t available everywhere. You could also be out of stock while you have other types of cheese at home. 
  • Price: If you’re buying in large quantities, you’ll notice that Taleggio cheese isn’t particularly the cheapest of cheeses. If you would need some other cheaper alternatives, we’ve got you covered. 

Best Substitutes for Taleggio Cheese

Taleggio cheese is unique. The options listed below will not perfectly mimic the taste and flavor of a Taleggio cheese. Still, it will surely have enough similarities to allow you to use them for similar purposes.

Fontina Cheese

Just like Taleggio, this Italian classic also features a pungent aroma. It has stronger flavors and melts easily, making it great candidates for warm dishes. If you need something to mimic the punchy aroma and tangy flavor that Taleggio offers, then Fontina Cheese is the cheese for the job.

Just like Taleggio cheese, Fontina is washed-rind and of Italian origin. It also has a rich history and has maintained most of its historical production process. You can use Fontina instead of Taleggio in risotto, fondue, and chowder. A combination of Fontina and Mozzarella can forge a scrumptious pizza cheese that is flavor-rich and stretchy. 

Limburger

If you’re in need of something that offers a more intense cheese experience, Limburger should be your list topper. Like Taleggio cheese, Limburger is also suitable for melting. It has a mild, somehow earthy flavor.

You’ll also likely notice some mushroom-like undertone. The process of making Taleggio is also a little similar to that of Limburger. Both processes involve procedures that promote the growth of useful bacteria.

Instead of using a Taleggio, you can add a slice of Limburger to your creamy rigatoni or simply eat it the good old way with some purple onion and thick rows of rye bread. 

Brie Cheese

If you’re in need of cheese that is more affordable and has a slightly softer texture, Brie Cheese is the cheese to ask for. No, we aren’t just recommending it because it is cheaper than Taleggio. Far from it. Brie can also offer you the flavorful and tasty quality that Taleggio has to offer, albeit in its own unique way.

If your serving cheeseboard to your family and they don’t fancy strong flavors, you’ll find Brie more suitable than the more strongly flavored Taleggio. You’ll also find most varieties of Brie more creamy in flavor than Taleggio. 

Gruyere

Taleggio is great for cooking. It melts into salads, soups, and savory dishes and can be grated into a soufflé. Gruyere can fit perfectly in all those situations as well. It is a firm, creamy, and pale-yellow-colored variety of cheese. It usually features a signature set of small holes that are formed when gas bubbles are released by bacteria that are used in its production process. 

Although Gruyere won’t offer the same flavor as Taleggio, you’ll nonetheless find it to be a great fit for roles Taleggio would play in dishes and snacks. Gruyere is simply an all-rounder you’ll love to have around. Just like Taleggio, you’ll also find Gruyere to be a great table cheese. You can choose to eat it in slices with a sandwich or on a cheese platter.

Gruyere is an ideal cheese choice if you want the result of a recipe to be nice and creamy. Although not the cheapest in terms of price, Gruyere is widely available in most cheese stores. 

Other Plausible Substitutes for Taleggio Cheese

There are dozens of cheese varieties in the market. Although they may not have striking similarities to Taleggio ( in terms of texture, taste, and flavor), they can perform similar functions in dishes and snacks.

Robiola, Havarti, and Bel Paese are all great examples to try. Bel Paese is a particularly good option for people who don’t like the pungent smell from Taleggio. It features a buttery flavor, which could be useful when used with snacks. Its melting property also makes it great for pizzas and casseroles.

It is also important to note that most washed rind cheeses will also make for good substitutes depending on the use case. A good example would be Pont-l’Évêque. 

There probably several other cheese options you can explore as substitutes for Taleggio. It’s a common mistake to think that cheese with similar color and appearance to Taleggio similar. However, this is not the case. The cheese options we have shared above are similar in properties more prominent than color and appearance. 

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