What Is Taleggio & 5 Substitutes

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What Is Taleggio and its Substitutes- An ultimate guide


If you are a cheese person, chances are you have encountered with Taleggio. It is one of the world’s oldest soft cheeses. This semi-soft Italian cheese has been around since Roman times. Although it dates to before the 10th century, much of its recipe is the same.

Made from cow’s milk, this reddish-orange cheese melts quickly and smoothly and becomes softer as it ages. Its ageing process will be ceased when you cut it. Its melting properties make it a great candidate for pasta and risotto.

You can pair it with fresh fruits like sweet grapes and wine like white or red Burgundy and red Italian Nebbiolo. Finding this tangy cheese is not easy, and it is a bit expensive too. So if you are looking for Taleggio cheese substitute, then you have come to the right page.

Here we will discuss some Taleggio substitute to help you finish the recipe without this Italian delicacy.

What is Taleggio?

What is Taleggio

Taleggio is a smear-ripened, rind-washed, mild and semi-soft pale yellow cheese from the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a thin, rosy-grey washed rind, and you can consume it without removing the rind. However, you need to clean the rind before using this creamy cheese.

It is listed in some of the strong aromatic cheeses due to its distinctive pungent aroma. The reason behind its odour is ageing, and it doesn’t affect its taste. It is fairly mild with a sweet and fruity flavour, making it a great option for many hot dishes.

As it melts quite well, you can use it for spreading and melting. One of the key reasons for its popularity is its mild yet tangy taste, which is completely unique and makes it an elite one. You can use this semi-soft cheese in a variety of dishes, salads and it even works well with red wine.

It is particularly a popular choice for Italian antipasto named bruschetta. Grated Taleggio is served with salads. Since it melts well, you can use it on polenta (Italian boiled cornmeal).

5 Taleggio substitutes

There’s no doubt that Taleggio cheese is a wonderful option for any cheese lover. Choose the following substitutes when you can’t find Taleggio in the market.

  1. Brie

Brie is probably the best substitute for Taleggio that we would recommend to you. Brie is similar to Taleggio cheese but from French origin. Like Taleggio cheese, brie is also made with cow’s milk.

The other similar properties that it shares with Taleggio are its mild taste and pungent smell. Brie is also a semi-soft cheese that has a creamy texture like its Italian counterpart. You can effortlessly spread it over bread that surely gives a treat to your taste buds. 

  1. Fontina

If you are looking for the tangy flavour and punchy aroma as Taleggio offers, then fontina is probably the ideal Taleggio substitute for mimicking these properties. It has a similar soft and creamy inside like Taleggio, and it melts quickly, making it an ideal choice for fondues (Swiss melted cheese dish).

It features small holes and produces a mild yet savoury and nutty flavour. It is often seen as an option for those who want a similar taste but prefer something meltier.

  1. Bel Paese

Bel pease is also pretty similar to Taleggio cheese. Made from cow’s milk, it is also semi-soft cheese that originates from Italy. If you find a bit of a tangy taste, then bel paese is a great substitute for Taleggio. It has a creamy and milky aroma. Smell aside, it has a similar taste as Taleggio.

It is a great option for those who don’t like the pungent smell of Taleggio but like its taste. Its maturation period is around six to eight weeks. It is usually eaten as a dessert, cheese or snack. It is a meltier cheese and suits well with other Italian dishes like pizza as a substitute for mozzarella.

  1. Gruyere

The fruity hints from gruyere make it a perfect alternative to Taleggio. It is also made with cow’s milk, and it is slightly saltier in taste. This yellow Swiss cheese is creamy and meltable and can be used with many dishes.

Like Taleggio, Gruyere has a strong aroma, but it can be a reliable substitute for those who like meltier cheese. Gruyere has similar uses as Taleggio. It is ideal for cheese boards, melted on risotto and for salads.

  1. Limburger

Limburger is a Belgian semi-soft cheese that has a slightly stronger flavour. If you are fine with its strong flavour, it can be a great Taleggio substitute. They both share the same cheese-making process, and a bacterium is added during their making that gives them a strong pungent smell. It also melts well so that you can use it with varied recipes.


What is an acceptable substitute for Taleggio cheese?

The most acceptable substitute for Taleggio cheese is Brie cheese, and the other Taleggio substitutes are fontina, gruyere, bel paese, Limburger and reblochon cheese. There are some other plausible Taleggio cheese substitutes, but the above-mentioned options have striking similarities.

What does Taleggio taste like?

Despite the pungent aroma, Taleggio offers a mild and buttery taste when young. With prolonged maturing, its flavour becomes tangier.

Is Reblochon similar to Taleggio?

Reblochon is a French cheese that has many characteristics similar to Taleggio. Made with raw cow’s milk, Reblochon is semi-ripened and soft washed-rind cheese like Taleggio. It has a creamy texture and nutty flavour. Taleggio offers fruity notes like Reblochon cheese.

Moreover, this French semi-soft cheese has the same mild taste that makes it delicious. You can serve Taleggio fresh in blocks with wine or grated into sauces, polenta, and even salads. So this velvety soft cheese can easily replace the other mild cheese like Reblochon in your recipes. 

What type of cheese is Taleggio cheese?

Taleggio cheese is a semi-soft cheese variety with a mild taste. The traditional Taleggio cheese is smear-ripened and washed-rind. It has been granted a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) designation. This is cave-aged and offers an unusual tangy flavour.

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best! 

What Is Taleggio and its Substitutes- An ultimate guide