Provolone vs Cheddar: Which is Better?

Provolone and cheddar are both undeniably popular cheeses, but which one is better? In this blog post, we will compare the two cheeses. We will look at their flavor profile, characteristics, production, and more.

By the end of this post, you should have a good understanding of which cheese is right for you!

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History

Cheddar cheese is believed to have originated in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. It is thought that the first cheddar cheese was made sometime in the 12th century (1).

Provolone cheese, on the other hand, is believed to have originated in Southern Italy. The first mention of provolone cheese can be found in a document from the 19-century (2) but is believed to be started around the 1700s.

Characteristic

Provolone and cheddar are both made from cow’s milk. Cheddar is a hard cheese with a crumbly texture. Provolone, on the other hand, is a semi-hard cheese with a smooth texture that can be described as “creamy.”

They are both white to straw in color, but cheddar can sometimes have a slight yellow-orange hue due to the coloring added. They both have a nutty and earthy flavor the longer they age. However, cheddar is usually a bit saltier than provolone.

Flavor profile

When it comes to flavor, both provolone and cheddar are quite different. Cheddar has a strong, intense flavor that is often described as “sharp” or “bitter.” Provolone, on the other hand, is milder with a slightly piquant nutty note.

Production

Cheddar is a fairly simple cheese to make. The milk is heated and then curdled with rennet and starter culture. The whey is drained and curds are then cut. One extra step for cheddar is known as “cheddaring“. It’s a process to acidify the curds and force more whey out. Salt is then added and kneaded.

Provolone, on the other hand, is produced similarly without the cheddaring. Provolone uses a method known as pasta filata where the curd is stretched and kneaded in a hot water treatment until the right consistency is obtained.

Use

Cheddar is often used in dishes such as macaroni and cheese, burgers, and quesadillas. Provolone, on the other hand, is often used in dishes such as sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, and calzones.

Nutrition

Both cheeses are a good source of protein and calcium. However, cheddar contains 18% more fat and 12% more calories than provolone. Technically, by the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat content, provolone is healthier than cheddar.

FAQs

Is Cheddar similar to provolone?

No, cheddar and provolone are two different cheeses. Cheddar is a hard cheese similar to Colby and Jack, while provolone is a semi-hard cheese made using the stretched-curd method (closer to mozzarella). Their flavors are also somewhat different.

Reference:

  1. https://www.gooty.it/en/cheeses/10-provolone-del-monaco.html
  2. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
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