Franklin Peluso, a third generation cheese maker, has made Franklin’s Teleme since 1980. Frankin's grandfather created the original recipe in 1927, and then taught his son who, in turn, taught Franklin.
Some Teleme lovers may know Teleme as “Tomales Bay Cheese” as, long ago, it was crafted in the small town of Tomales, on the coast of western Marin County. Peluso uses his hands to squeeze and press mounds of curds and whey to get the ideal texture and moisture content as he produces a batch of his cheese.
Teleme - this Teleme - has a sort of cult status. This pillowy strachino cheese is formed into a six-pound, two-inch-thick square. It has no rind; instead, it’s dusted with a thin coat of rice flour and aged for three or four weeks. The rice flour dries the edges of this soft-ripened cheese to almost a chewy rind.It is a staple in many a polenta recipe and is unique in its style, flavor. It has been likened to a ripened Italian stracchino. It’s not easy to find, but very worth the experience.
Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Cow Milk, Salt, Enzymes
“Rich, luscious, smooth, tangy and creamy….. you can’t ask more in a cheese. Always a favorite on a cheese board, even better on baguette with thin slices of salami and toasted to get that extra special melted sensation.“
- Sam Mogannam Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco
“Franklin’s Teleme is one of the classic Bay Area cheeses. Anyone who grew up near an Italian Deli starts drooling when they think about Teleme on their polenta. Mild, milky, tart, and incredibly satisfying… I use it at home for almost everything.“
- Gordon Edgar Cheese Buyer, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, San Francisco
Photo: JanetFletcher.com (2023)