What's a Good Substitutes for Teleme Cheese?

Teleme cheese is a delicious semi-soft cheese that originated in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. With its tangy, lemon-like flavor and creamy texture, it's no wonder why teleme cheese is a hit in so many dishes like pizza, burgers, and more.

What's a Good Substitutes for Teleme Cheese

But what if you can't find teleme cheese at your local grocery store? Are there good substitutes for teleme cheese that can match its flavor and texture?

Luckily, there are several excellent cheese alternatives you can use in place of teleme cheese. While no substitute will be exactly the same, options like brie cheese, Monterey jack cheese, and stracchino cheese make great substitutes in recipes calling for teleme.

What Is Teleme Cheese?

Let's start by understanding what makes teleme cheese so special. Teleme cheese originated among Greek immigrants who settled in California in the early 1900s. It's a semi-soft white cheese made from cow's milk.

The name "teleme" comes from the Greek word “telamos” meaning “perfect” or “whole” - an apt description for this creamy and delicious cheese!

Teleme cheese is ripened for a minimum of 10 days up to two months. As it ages, the flavor intensifies and the texture softens.

Fresh teleme cheese that’s only 10 days old will have a mild taste and firm texture. Fully mature teleme aged for months develops tangier flavors and a smooth, spreadable consistency.

There are a few distinctive types of teleme cheese:

  • Rice flour teleme: Dusting the exterior with rice flour allows a tasty crust to form when exposed to air. This variety comes wrapped in wax paper.
  • Plastic-wrapped teleme: Aging the cheese wrapped in plastic prevents crust formation, keeping the interior soft.

No matter what form it takes, teleme cheese is beloved for its lemony, tangy flavors and lush, creamy texture when at the peak of ripeness.

It can transform simple recipes into gourmet delights. The soft mouthfeel and mild saltiness make teleme cheese shine when served with fruits, breads, crackers, or wine. Melting teleme cheese also gives incredible flavor to hot sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and more.

Key Takeaway: Teleme cheese features a tangy lemon flavor and creamy texture that makes it perfect for snacking as well as melting into delicious recipes.

The Best Substitutes for Teleme Cheese

Finding teleme cheese substitutes comes down to matching two main characteristics - tangy flavor and soft, creamy texture.

By selecting cheeses that share these traits, you can successfully recreate delicious teleme cheese flavors and textures in your cooking.

Here are the top-rated swaps to use when teleme cheese is nowhere to be found:

1. Brie Cheese

Creamy French brie makes an excellent substitute for teleme cheese. With its rich, buttery flavor and smooth, spreadable texture, brie mimics teleme beautifully in recipes.

Brie originates from the French region it's named after. It's made using whole or partly skimmed cow’s milk mixed with rennet to form curds. These curds are carefully layered into molds to drain before being unmolded, salted, and aged.

The minimum aging time for brie cheese is four weeks, though it can be ripened for longer to intensify the flavors. When fully matured, brie has an edible white rind enclosing a pale inner paste that becomes wonderfully runny and soft when warmed to room temperature.

Since brie cheese mimics the smooth, spreadable texture of peak ripeness teleme beautifully, it melts superbly in recipes. Brie also has a inherent tang making it a tasty swap.

Try using luscious brie in place of teleme cheese in recipes like:

  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Quiches, casseroles, or tarts
  • Pasta sauces
  • Pizza or flatbreads

With brie on hand, your cooking is sure to impress!

Key Takeaway: Brie cheese makes an excellent substitute for teleme thanks to its rich and creamy qualities that develop during the aging process.

2. Monterey Jack Cheese

Monterey Jack is another fantastic substitute for teleme cheese. This Californian cheese was actually created just a few years after teleme made its debut in the early 20th century.

Traditional Monterey Jack cheese uses cow’s milk. It has a white color along with a sweet and mild flavor profile. The pliable texture becomes deliciously melty and stringy when exposed to heat.

With its creamy texture reminiscent of perfectly ripe teleme cheese plus the bonus of excellent melting properties, Monterey Jack makes an easy, convenient substitute.

There are a few varieties of Monterey Jack cheese:

  • Pepper Jack: Spicy chiles and herbs add zesty kick.
  • Dry Jack: A harder style allowed to age up to 6 months for intensified flavors.

To use Monterey Jack in place of teleme cheese, try:

  • Mixing cubed Pepper Jack into salads
  • Stuffing mushrooms with regular Monterey Jack
  • Adding shredded Dry Jack on top of pizza or flatbreads before baking

With a similar origin story to teleme cheese, Monterey Jack makes an easy, familiar substitute in just about any recipe.

Cheese TypeFat ContentFirmness LevelFlavor NotesMelting Ability
Teleme Cheese50% Milk FatSoftTangy, SaltyExcellent Meltability
Brie45% Milk FatSoftRich, TangyExcellent Meltability
Monterey Jack30-35% Milk FatSemi-Hard to SoftMild, SweetGood Meltability

Key Takeaway: Monterey Jack cheese can mimic teleme's texture while bringing sweet, melty flavors as a substitute in recipes.

3. Stracchino Cheese

The last excellent substitute for teleme cheese is stracchino. This Italian delicacy makes a fine stand-in thanks to its delicate milky flavor and soft texture when ripe.

Stracchino goes by other names like crescenza cheese. It uses the rich milk from Italian cows to form a sweet, creamy paste with no rind.

Young stracchino cheese has an ultra-soft quality perfect for spreading on bread or mixing into recipes needing a silky texture. As stracchino ages, it develops even creamier properties and a pleasant tanginess.

Interestingly, traditional teleme cheese has strong ties to Italian stracchino. When perfectly ripe, teleme takes on the lush texture of aged stracchino beautifully.

For recipes requiring the signature creaminess of teleme cheese, mild stracchino is an easy substitute. It performs well:

  • Added to pasta sauces or risottos
  • Spread onto sandwiches or bruschetta
  • Served solo with fruit and crackers

With Italian origins, stracchino cheese makes a seamless sub for teleme’s Mediterranean-inspired flavors.

Key Takeaway: Stracchino or crescenza cheese from Italy makes an ideal substitute thanks to similar soft ripening textures plus a milky, tangy flavor.

How to Incorporate Teleme Cheese Substitutes

Using replacement cheeses instead of teleme cheese does take some finesse. To enjoy the best results:

Start by choosing a substitute cheese that closely aligns with the dish you’re making. Consider the flavor profile and melting needs before selecting a stand-in cheese.

  • For recipes needing excellent meltability, opt for brie or Monterey Jack cheese.
  • In salads, cheese boards or quick appetizers, mild and creamy stracchino works beautifully.

You can also combine several substitute cheeses together in one recipe to fully replicate teleme's characteristics:

  • Using Monterey Jack for melting properties combined with stracchino for added richness mimics teleme beautifully.

Adjust recipe steps to account for differences in the substitute cheese:

  • Brie has higher milk fat content than teleme, so add it more sparingly to avoid overpowering taste.
  • Since stracchino is softer than teleme, reduce cooking times when adding it to hot dishes so it doesn’t overmelt.

Consider flavor pairings that complement the stand-in cheese:

  • Earthy flavors like mushrooms, greens, or roast veggies taste delicious with creamy brie.
  • Sweet fruits, fresh herbs, seafood, and cured meats all pair wonderfully with mild stracchino.

Take care not to overheat more delicate substitute cheeses - gently warming them is enough to develop the lush creamy texture.

By understanding the unique qualities of whichever substitute you use, you can easily adapt recipes for sublime results!


What's the closest substitute for Teleme cheese flavor?

Brie cheese offers the closest match to Teleme cheese's tangy flavor profile. With notes of lemon and crème fraiche, aged brie mimics teleme beautifully thanks to similar aging conditions. For ultimate flavor, allow both cheeses to ripen fully to develop their characteristic tang.

Which cheese makes the best substitute for Teleme based on texture?

For matching Teleme's famously lush, spreadable texture, stracchino cheese is your best choice. This Italian delicacy is specially cultivated to reach an ultrasoft, creamy peak similar to ripe Teleme cheese. The two share remarkably similar textural qualities once fully aged.

Is Monterey Jack or Brie better for melting instead of Teleme?

If you need a Teleme cheese substitute for excellent meltability, Monterey Jack beats Brie. Although both mimic Teleme's creamy nature well on their own, Monterey Jack was actually engineered specifically to offer top-tier melting properties. So when you need gooey, melted cheese as in grilled sandwiches or baked pasta dishes, Monterey Jack is your best substitute bet.


While no other cheese can exactly replicate Teleme’s signature zesty, lemony flavors and deliciously soft ripened texture, several worthy substitutes come close.

Supple French brie, mild Monterey Jack, and luscious Italian stracchino all mimic teleme cheese beautifully.

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions