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In Search Of Taleme


dcpolicywonk
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There is a cheese that I grew up with in the SF Bay Area that I've yet to find here. I used to think it was an Italian cheese (from Italy) but have come to learn that, in fact, it IS an Italian cheese but is an SF Bay Area specialty. It is called Teleme. Anyone know where to find some. I have checked with Jill at Cheesetique but I have not yet been to the Italian Store in Arlington.

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I don't think being Italian will be of much help, as according to this article it was created in California by a Greek cheese maker. Granted an Italian family commercially produces it.

Edited by mdt
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What did Jill say?  I think better than the Italian store would be to talk to Aldo and Katie at Arrowine.  Particularly Aldo, since he's Italian!

I have never had teleme made in Italy (it's like a ripe brie) and I've never bought it outside of the Bay Area, but it's possible that Trader Joe's might carry it locally. Peluso Cheese in Los Banos, CA still makes teleme, and they have mail order.

edited to add: doh! Too late - mdt got the scoop!

Edited by crackers
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I have never had teleme made in Italy (it's like a ripe brie) and I've never bought it outside of the Bay Area, but it's possible that Trader Joe's might carry it locally.  Peluso Cheese in Los Banos, CA still makes teleme, and they have mail order.

edited to add:  doh!  Too late - mdt got the scoop!

Thanks for all the help! I guess growing up I only saw it in Italian delis and my grandparents (Italian) told me it was an Italian cheese. Now that I know it is Greek in origin it may be easier to find. I will let you all know if and where I find it. FYI Jill knew of the cheese but didn't have any but was willing to search it out for me. I declined at the time as I was getting ready to leave the country for a couple of weeks.

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I have never had teleme made in Italy (it's like a ripe brie) and I've never bought it outside of the Bay Area, but it's possible that Trader Joe's might carry it locally. Peluso Cheese in Los Banos, CA still makes teleme, and they have mail order.

Sorry to say that Trader Joe's doesn't sell Teleme--I don't think the production is of sufficient size for a large chain to sell it. I used to get it in L.A. occcasionally--it's not really like brie, since it doesn't have a bloomy rind. It's very mild, more like a rich, soft jack. Last summer when my husband's cousins all gathered in Santa Cruz for a family surf camp week, we did a dinner featuring local products for the benefit of the east coasters. The NY contingent had gotten some peaches at the Ferry Building market, and for dessert I grilled peach halves and served them with Teleme and a Meyer lemon compote.

You might like Saint Nectaire, which is a rich, soft mild cheese from France.

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Cheesetique has Teleme (from Spring Hill in Sonoma) right now and I got a very nice slice off the block. It is a flour teleme (dusted with rice flour) and had developed mold, which I trimmed off - delicious with apple slices and also with some roasted red pepper spread and . . . crackers.

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I received this notice of a sale on Teleme in Arrowine's e-mail letter yesterday:

Peluso’s Teleme

Franklin Peluso is the grandson of Giovanni Peluso, the inventor of Teleme cheese. In the early 20th century, the elder Peluso emigrated from Crete to Tomales Bay, California and soon began making cheese similar to those from back home. Because the lush California land could support cattle, unlike his old home, he adapted the recipes to suit his new animals. Though the cheese he developed hardly resembled the sheep and goat’s milk cheeses of his homeland, Mr. Peluso had created a classic. In 1925, he began selling his cheese. He passed along the recipe to his son, Frank, who also gave it to his son, Franklin. Franklin, now 60, has recently moved from his California home to Maine, where he continues the tradition in Rockport.

Teleme is one of a few American original cheeses. The square shaped, ivory colored cheese weighs about six pounds and the rind is natural and very thin, unlike Brie or Taleggio. Teleme is dusted with rice flour, a practice that is useless but traditional. The subtle aroma of Teleme is clean and reminiscent of yogurt or freshly soured milk. Its paste is soft, creamy, and gentle offering fresh, milky, and tart flavors. Peluso’s Teleme, beloved by cheese connoisseurs and chefs, is delicious reminder of family tradition. Reg. $13.99/lb, On Sale for $ 11.99/lb.

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Peluso’s Teleme . . . . Franklin, now 60, has recently moved from his California home to Maine, where he continues the tradition in Rockport.

According to a learned source, mktye's sister, who is the "cheese lady" of Ft. Bragg, Ca, where I was last week, Peluso moved the operation to Maine because of favorable tax breaks and lower production costs in Maine as compared to their former location. I bought some at the Harvest Market in Ft. Bragg, along with some Mendocino mustard, local tomatoes and some good sour dough and had a fine picnic on the beach.

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