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There are many factors that influence the flavor of Talesh cheese. Learn more about this fabulous cheese and you'll know how to select the best Talesh when making your purchase.

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Is Talesh cheese the right fit for you? Keep reading and you'll find out.

Talesh cheese simply couldn't be omitted from this encyclopedia of the world's cheeses, and once you read the information we offer about it, you might decide it's essential for your pantry too.

Maybe until now you were unaware of the existence of Talesh cheese. Or perhaps you've sought it out because Talesh is your favorite. Either way, we provide plenty of information about this cheese here so you can get to know it better.


As you may know, there are many types of cheeses in the world. However, specifically in Iran, the number of these cheeses is lower compared to other countries in its surroundings.

Cheese Talesh (Panir Tajhi)

Cheese Talesh (Panir Tajhi) is a cheese aged in a sheepskin bag, produced in the Talosh (or Talysh) mountains that occupy the western part of the Alborz mountain range, on the southwest coast of the Caspian Sea. This area is inhabited by the Tallysh village, an Iranian ethnic group that has lived for millennia between what is now Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan.

The cheese takes its name from the Tualysh tribe, who prepare this cheese using native methods and non-sophisticated tools. Traditional Talesh cheese is mainly made from raw milk from local sheep, Tahhi and Zel-Atbay, which is often mixed with smaller proportions of cow and goat milk.

Production Process

The traditional Talesh cheese is produced in the mountains, where animals roam freely in high pastures. The milk is heated to 68°C and then homemade traditional rennet (called KHARSHEH) is added. The curd is then broken and cut into small pieces, which are wrapped in a large cloth to drain. At the same time, whey is boiled to obtain lour, a type of cottage cheese, which is also collected in a cloth to remove excess serum.

The lour is then mixed with rock salt, and this mixture is called Sourate. Once the cheese and Sourate are ready, they are placed in special washed, dried, smoked, and rehydrated sheepskin bags. The Surah is poured over the layers of cheese inside the sheepskin bags, which are then sealed with thread to prevent air penetration.

Maturation and Consumption

Talesh cheese is a natural product; it matures for 6 to 8 months and is typically consumed for breakfast with bread or with rice, vegetables, nuts, and other grains. Instead, lour is seasoned with sugar or honey, while Sourate, like cheese, is eaten with rice.

In recent years, Talesh cheese has increasingly been stored in plastic barrels instead of traditional sheepskin bags. However, in some regions, the traditional use of sheepskin bags has been completely lost. This cheese can only be found in the Tash county and is not commercialized in supermarkets. It is only sold in local markets, stores, or directly in the grazing areas where it is produced.


Talesh cheese is a crustless, white, soft, and crumbly cheese. It is a good substitute for feta cheese in salads. This cheese is usually accompanied by a drink called Doog, which is served cold and often as a side dish for grilled meat or rice, especially during summer.

Talesh Cheese and Slow Food

Talesh cheese is part of the "Slow Food Ark of Taste," which is a Slow Food Foundation project that deals with the recovery and cataloging of endangered food, unique groups, and provenance artisanal products on a small scale. The project highlights the intrinsic value of products offered by the land, protects them because they are rooted in their culture, history, and tradition, and promotes their consumption to safeguard them as heritage and humanity's heritage.

Source: Slow Food

✓ Iran