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Monday, March 22, 2010

Franklin's Teleme Cheese

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM

A California original.
  • A California original.
As a daily windup to the Weekly's Best of S.F. 2010 on May 19, we've teased out 92 of our favorite local dishes that taste like here.

Number 41: Franklin's Teleme

Teleme is Northern California's other indigenous cheese (the first is Monterey Jack). A certain mystery clings to its origins, the way fog hugs the Bolinas shoreline. Some say 19th century cheese makers were attempting to make feta ― if so, they failed. Spectacularly. At the hands of 30-year cheese maker Franklin Peluso (whose grandfather is said to have developed it), Teleme has a bright tang and delicately elastic texture as satisfying to eat as softened shortbread dough. "It has a milkiness and a creaminess in the same bite," says San Francisco cheese writer Laura Werlin. "It has the best texture of any cheese I've ever had in my life." That's saying something.

Werlin also digs the thin crust dusted with rice flour, something she says provides textural contrast with Teleme's creamy center. "The closest thing to it are washed rind cheeses," she says, "but those have different flavors and textures." But here's the thing about Teleme: You only want to buy Franklin's handmade cheese, made in Los Banos in the Central Valley with pasteurized milk from cows in the dairy plant at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Look for pieces cut from a rectangular slab the size of a sheet cake, wrapped in paper. Avoid Peluso's Teleme ― Franklin sold the name a few years ago, before briefly moving to Maine. Peluso Teleme comes in smaller Cryovac packaging ― Werlin calls it an industrial product, essentially, without the flavor or texture of Franklin's cheese.

Franklin's Teleme Available in S.F. at Whole Foods, Rainbow Grocery, and Cheese Plus

Craving more? Check out these previous links to our countdown:

No. 92: Cracked Half Dungeness from Swan Oyster Depot
No. 91: Pastrami Sandwich from Orson
No. 90: Coconut Bun from Out the Door on Bush
No. 89: Brown Sugar-Black Pepper Biscuits from Little
Skillet

No. 87: Indian Pizza from Zante
No. 86: Tamales from All-Star
No. 85: Chilaquiles from Nopalito
No. 84: Poc Chuc from Poc-Chuc
No. 83: Chocolate Beignet from Arlequin Cafe
No. 82: Scallop Crêpe from Ti Couz
No. 81: Gin and Tonic from Pizzaiolo/Boot and Shoe
Service

No. 80: Quesadilla from Rico Pan
No. 79: Turkey Kati Rolls from Kasa
No. 78: Emperor's Pancake from Suppenküche
No. 77: Lasagna from Zuppa
No. 76: Chicharrones from 4505 Meats
No. 75: Langka Ice Cream from Mitchell's
No. 74: Bacon Potato Chips from Who's Your Daddy
No. 73: Lamb Dumplings from Kingdom of Dumpling
No. 72: Chile-Braised Carnitas Sandwich from Bento 415
No. 71: Chili from Mission Burger
No. 70: Croissants from La Farine
No. 69: Xiu Mai Banh Mi from Saigon Sandwich
No. 68: Creme Brulee from Sweet.
No. 67: Limon Cebiche from Limon
No. 66: Chicken and Waffles from Brown Sugar Kitchen
No. 65: Brioche Bread Pudding from Tartine Bakery
No. 64: Turkish Salad from Old Jerusalem
No. 63: Ribs from Bruno's
No. 62: Prupisceddu in Umidu (Stewed Octopus)
from La Ciccia

No. 61: Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky from Marin Sun Farms
No. 60: Pozole from Chilango
No. 59: Lobster Roll from Sam's ChowderMobile
No. 58: Dry-Fried Chicken Wings from San Tung
No. 57: John Campbell's Scones from Lovejoy's Tea Room
No. 56: Prahok from Angkor Borei
No. 55: The Garden-Fresh Pie from Pizzetta 211
No. 54: Pata Negra Ham from Contigo
No. 53: Stone Bowl Bibimbap at Han Il Kwan
No. 52: Green Papaya Salad from Green Papaya Deli
No. 51: Egg Puffs from Shanghai Dumpling King
No. 50: Cactus Tortillas from La Palma
No 49: Thai Barbecue Chicken from Manivanh
No. 48: Salt and Pepper Crab from R&G Lounge
No. 47: Aztec Chocolate Cupcakes from Mission Minis
No. 46: Octopus Tostada from Mariscos La Costa
No. 45: Pan con Chicharron from El Perol
No. 44: Burmese chicken-noodle soup at Yamo
No. 43: Roast Duck from Cheung Hing

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