Parmesan vs. Romano: What’s the Difference?

Do you love cheesy dishes? If so, you’re probably familiar with Parmesan and Romano cheese. But what’s the difference between the two?

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Can Romano be substituted for Parmesan? In this blog post, we’ll answer all of these questions and more!

So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Parmesan and Romano cheese.

Are Parmesan and Romano the Same?

No, they’re not the same. They are both Italian cheeses classified as the Grana cheese, which means they have similar granular, hard, and crumbly textures – excellent for grating.

Parmesan is a little milder and nuttier in flavor, while Romano is sharper, saltier, earthier, and more pungent.

Parmesan cheese is made from cow’s milk, while Romano cheese can be made from cow, goat, sheep’s milk. In the US, the Romano is commonly referred to as Pecorino Romano, which is a 100% sheep milk cheese.

Unlike cow’s, sheep milk cheese is richer and may have a grassy taste depending on what they eat.

This means that Parmesan cheese is typically milder than Romano cheese.

So If you’re looking for a slightly milder option, go with Parmesan. If you want something a little stronger, choose Romano instead.

Romano is also sold younger than Parmesan, aged for around 8-12 months. Whereas Parmigiano-Reggiano (true Parmesan cheese) is aged for a minimum of 12 months.

For that reason, Romano is usually less expensive than parmesan.

Some varieties of Romano, such as the Red Pecorino, are made using the Pasta Filata method also known as stretched curd – similar to mozzarella. It, therefore, has a softer, chewier texture.

Can Romano be Used in Place of Parmesan?

In most cases, you can use Romano in place of Parmesan. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, if a recipe calls for the cheese to be melted into a sauce or dip, Romano may not melt as well as Parmesan would.

In cases like this, you can either use Parmesan or switch to a similar cheese that will melt well, for example, the asiago.

Read Asiago vs Romano.

So, are Parmesan and Romano interchangeable? Yes, in most cases they are interchangeable.

But, if you’re looking for the perfect cheese for your dish, it’s important to know the difference between the two. Now that you do, you can make an informed decision when selecting which cheese to use in your recipe.

The Verdict

When it comes to flavor, Parmesan is the clear winner. It’s a more versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes – from starters to desserts!

If you’re looking for a cheese that’s going to pack a punch, go with Romano. It’s got a stronger flavor and can be used in dishes like carbonara or as an ingredient in savory pies.

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