“Ask Matt Caputo” is an ongoing feature where Matt answers commonly asked questions from the market. This week, he discusses one of the newest cheeses released from Caputo’s two cheese caves- Double Skull Taleggio.
Q: Caputo’s now has both Taleggio and Double Skull Taleggio. What’s the difference and what’s special about the Double Skull?
A: Taleggio is Italy’s 2nd most popular cheese. However, it is a washed rind, which in part means it is surface ripened. The average European would consume these types of cheese MUCH more ripened than we do here in the United States because they have broader practices of proper affinage in Europe. If not aged in a cave at 97% humidity and daily washing of the rind, you can get severely off-putting flavors- think chemicals, astringency, acrid, bitter, and ammonia- by the time the cheese is fully ripe. Aging with TLC in the proper environment like in Caputo’s Cheese Cave allows for full ripeness without the polluted flavors of those off notes.
With our Double Skull Taleggio we take it one step further and replace the brine used for regular Taleggio with a Doppelbock beer. Specifically, Epic Brewing’s Double Skull. We chose this after a night of “research” at the home of Kevin Crompton (Epic’s brew master). It gets washed with this sweet and malty beer 1 to 3 times a day for a month. It emerges as the epitome of umami.