Teleme (Turkish) or Telemea[source needs translation] ([teleˈme̯a]) is the name of a traditional cheese made of ewe's milk. The term encompasses cheese made out of cow milk and more often, sheep milk. As is the case in Greek feta, Bulgarian or Macedonian sirene, and Serbian sir, Telemea can have a higher water content, making it a semi-soft, white cheese with a creamy texture and a tangy aftertaste. Alternatively, the cheese is put through an ageing process that makes it crisper and more flavoured. It is used as a table cheese for snacks, in salads and in a variety of dishes (e.g., omelettes, crepes, pies).
To make telemea cheese, rennet is added into milk to curdle it. Most commonly, cow's and sheep's milk is used, with goat's and buffalo's being more of a delicacy. The resulting curd is removed and is kept in cheesecloth, pressed overnight, then cut into square pieces. The cheese is then left to mature in brine. This fresh cheese (preserved in brine up to a couple of weeks) has its own name, caș. Subsequently, it is stored in wooden barrels named putini (singular: putină). It can be kept throughout winter in a more concentrated brine, in which case, it is desalted in fresh water before consumption.
As of 2005, the telemea is a protected designation of origin product of Romania, and the following types of telemea are officially recognized:[source needs translation]Telemea de Argeș
Telemea de Brașov
Telemea de Carei
Telemea de Harghita
Telemea de Huedin
Telemea de Oaş
Telemea de Sibiu
Telemea de Vâlcea
Telemea de Nucet
As of 2014, the EU acknowledges only Magiun de prune Topoloveni as having Protected Geographical Indication. No Romanian product has been awarded protected designation of origin. Only Telemea de Ibănești (not on the above list) has an application.