I was melting taleggio in a pan with some water and as it heated, it separated, and some of the cheese came together like mozzarella curds, forming a stringy, elastic mass. As I looked at it an idea was born. I went back to the store and picked up a large piece of taleggio. I removed the rind and cut the cheese into small slabs, which I then put into a vacuum bag and sealed. I cooked the cheese in the CVap set at 82°C for twenty minutes. By then the cheese had melted into what appeared to be curds and whey. To my eye there weren't enough curds for my idea so I put some mozzarella in a separate vacuum bag and heated it for twenty minutes in CVap as well. Then I cut open both bags and poured the contents into a large bowl. I was able to knead the curds together to form a soft and supple taleggio mozzarella. The whey is intensely flavored and with a rich mouth-feel.
To eat this first rendition we put it in a bowl while still warm with a few spoonfuls of the whey. We topped the taleggio mozzarella with minced pistachios, olive oil, fleur de sel and black pepper. It was incredible, a mozzarella with intense depth and character. We were able to store the remaining miniature mozzarella in the the whey in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to continue to mature.
After the cheeses cooled, we drained off the whey and blended it with fresh ricotta to make a taleggio ricotta, another great extrapolation. Having the bold flavors of taleggio tempered by the creamy ricotta in a spoon-able and spreadable form was eye opening.The cooled taleggio mozzarella became much firmer, closer to provolone (or Polly-o mozzarella) in texture, so we have yet another avenue to explore.
And now we must refine. The next phase is to heat the taleggio and other full flavored cheeses with the mozzarella curds in the same vacuum bag. We need to be able to control the consistency of the mozzarella a bit more and create a longer window of supple cheese. Still, we are quite pleased with this first delicious experiment.