Pecorino Cheese Vs Asiago: What’s the Difference?

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If there’s any thing we’ve learnt, it’s that cheese seems to have the ability to improve any dish. That isn’t to imply that we don’t have favorites.

You probably appreciate stronger, sourer cheeses with more bite, while the next person may prefer milder, softer cheeses that melt in the tongue. Some people can tell the difference between a pecorino cheese vs asiago cheese in seconds, others can go undetected.

The primary difference between pecorino cheese and asiago is in the taste, color, lactose content, texture and aging duration.

Nevertheless, most people still find it hard to differentiate between the two, which is why we wrote this article.

What is Pecorino Cheese?

Romano cheese, also known as Pecorino Romano, is a hard cheese that is baked and compressed. It originates in the regions of Lazio, Sardinia, and Tuscany.

Romano cheese is prepared from raw sheep’s milk instead of pasteurized cow’s milk, giving it a sweeter taste than Asiago or Parmesan.

The maturing process contributes to the stronger flavor of Pecorino Romano cheeses, which are typically matured for 8-12 months.

To generate a more mellow flavor, Romano cheese is frequently combined with Parmesan and/or Asiago cheeses.

Pecorino Romano Cheese Identification

The best-known kind is Pecorino Romano, which comes in huge discs with a hard, golden rind shrouding a pale yellow inside.

It’s a firm, dry cheese similar to Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan) that’s wonderful for grating. Pecorino, like parmesan, is mostly used in preparing meals.

What is Asiago Cheese?

Fresh Asiago has a thin rind with tiny, uneven perforations around and is white or pale yellow in color. It has a moderate texture, similar to a firm sponge cake, and a buttery scent, as well as a gently sweet and sour flavor.

Aged Asiago has a compact to solid texture and is pale yellow to amber yellow in color. Asiago cheese is a type of cheese made from Asiago.

Asiago originates in the Italian provinces of Vicenza and Trento. Asiago is a milder cheese than Romano, although based on how long it has been fermented, it can be obtained in semi-soft to firm chunks.

Whole milk is used to make fresh Asiago, whereas a blend essential nutritional and skim milk is used to make aged Asiago. Both are cooked to 95 degrees Fahrenheit before adding rennet and enzymes to make curds.

The mixture is kneaded and then cooked at a warmer temperature (about 105 to 115 F).

The cheese is seasoned and pounded prior to actually drying for 2 days, lying in a solution for two days, and then dry-aging for around a month for fresh Asiago.

The curds are poured in molds and rotated numerous times to drain the whey for aged Asiago. After that, the cheese is either brined or salted and matured for a few months or longer.

Pecorino Cheese Vs Asiago Cheese

The table below shows the key differences between pecorino cheese vs asiago, including their origin, color, texture, taste, etc.

 Pecorino Romano CheeseAsiago Cheese
OriginEmilia-Romagna, Lombardy, ItalyVeneto, Trentino, Italy
TextureHard, grainySemi-hard           
ColorBrownish yellow, strawPale yellow, straw
PasteurizationNoNo
TasteFruity, nutty, bitter, sharpMild, creamy, rich, nutty, buttery
Aging Duration12 – 36 months2-18 months
Lactose ContentVery low to none (<1 mg)           Very low
Milk SourceCowsCows

Difference in Appearance

Both Asiago and Pecorino Romano cheeses have a hard and sturdy consistency. Fresh Asiago is semi-soft, finer, and milder in color than mature Asiago.

The aged variety, on the other hand, is often heavier, grainier, or crumby, and can even be dry like parmesan.

As it ages, the coloring will darken and become tougher, similar to Romano, which is often stored for a long time. On the aged Romano, you may observe flecks of white crystals forming.

Difference in Taste

Pecorino Romano is milder, milkier, and sweeter than Asiago. It has a richer buttery flavor with a nutty aftertaste that is slightly bitter.

The “side flavor” or aftertaste of Pecorino Romano is much stronger than Asiago. Furthermore, Romano has a more sophisticated umami flavor, with traces of fruity/nutty flavor, than Asiago.

The flavor of Asiago and Romano is determined by how long they have been aged. In general, the creamier and tastier the cheese is, the younger it is.

Some people claim that Asiago tastes like Romano, which is partially true when comparing a well-aged Asiago to a moderately aged Romano, let alone the labels. Brands have an important role as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute Asiago for Pecorino?

Because it has that firm, crumbly feel that you’re searching for, aged Asiago cheese is a better option for Pecorino Romano.

Which cheese is the most similar to Pecorino?

If you don’t have Pecorino, try replacing it with: An excellent Parmesan cheese in equal parts (less sharp flavor). Alternatively, Asiago cheese (sharp and salty)
Manchego from Spain.

What cheese comes closest to Asiago?

If you’re looking for a substitute for Asiago, try Parmesan cheese. It has a stronger flavor than Asiago but is less salty. Because it’s so easy to find in your local store, it’s our first option. Alternatively, Pecorino Romano would be excellent.

Is Asiago similar to Romano cheese?

Asiago is less sour than Romano and has a stronger, nuttier flavor. While it grates nicely, it’s a little milder and it can be eaten on its own or with other foods. Grated Asiago cheese can be replaced 1:1 in recipes.

Conclusion

Out of these options, there is no correct or incorrect cheese to use with your cuisine. In the supermarket shop, cans of grated Romano and Asiago are frequently found next to one other.

Pre-shredded package cheeses frequently contain mixtures of these cheeses.

Because of the tiny variances in texture and taste, you’ll probably find yourself gravitating toward particular cheeses in various recipes as you explore them.

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