American Cheese vs. Provolone: Which is Better?

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron

Two of the most popular types of cheese are American cheese and provolone. They both have their own unique flavors and textures that make them stand out from the rest.

Also, they are both produced in very different ways. In this blog post, we will compare American cheese vs. Provolone to see which is better for you!

How it’s made

American cheese is made from combining 51% of the actual cheese, mostly Colby and cheddar, with emulsifying agents and other ingredients. The mixture is then heated until it becomes a thick and gooey mixture, followed by pasteurization. It’s then shaped, wrapped, and slices into the American cheese we all know.

Provolone is made from whole or semi-skimmed cow’s milk. The milk is coagulated by adding rennet and starter culture whey, and then the curds are cut into small pieces. The curds are then stretched under hot water (pasta filata), and molded into their final shape. The last step is to brine and age the cheese.

The Flavor

American cheese is creamy, smooth, and has a slightly tangy taste to it. On the other hand, provolone is a bit saltier and has a sharp flavor to it. It’s also has a pleasantly sweet aftertaste.

The Texture

American cheese is very smooth and creamy, while provolone is a bit grainier. The graininess comes from the fact that it’s not melted down as much as American cheese is.

Provolone is straw or ivory color, while American cheese is usually in white, orange, or yellow.

American cheese is created to be soft, smooth, and melts in your mouth. Provolone is a harder cheese and doesn’t melt as easily as American cheese does. However, it melts quite well under heat and will give a nice cheese pull as mozzarella does.

The Age

American cheese is an artificially produced “processed cheese” without going through a natural aging or ripening process. While provolone is aged anywhere from 2-3 months to a few years. The longer it’s aged, the sharper the flavor becomes.


As for the price, American cheese is usually much cheaper than provolone. It can be found in most grocery stores for about $7 per pound, while provolone is about $20 per pound.

The Verdict

Is American or provolone cheese better? It all comes down to how you use it. American cheese is a cheaper option and great for melting on burgers, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese. Provolone is a good choice for slicing onto sandwiches or salads, grilling, or as an addition to pasta dishes.


Are American and provolone cheese good together?

Yes, American and provolone cheese are a great combination! The creamy texture of the American cheese pairs well with the sharp flavor of the provolone. Use it on a sandwich, in a salad, or even grilled.

Is provolone white American cheese?

No, provolone is a different type of cheese. It’s an aged, semi-hard cheese. White American cheese is a processed cheese made without using the coloring called annatto extract. The typical yellow American is colored with annatto (1).

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