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Romano Cheese Vs Parmesan: What Are Their Differences?

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What is the difference between Romano cheese vs Parmesan? 

What truly differentiates these cheeses is the milk used in production. Romano cheese is made from sheep’s milk, while Parmesan cheese is made from grass-fed cow’s milk. 

However, if you live in the United States or Canada, where Italian cheeses aren’t much of a rockstar like Cheddar or Mozzarella, you may think they are not worth the try. 

But, if you’re looking forward to diversifying the flavor profiles in your pizzas, soups, tomato-based, and pasta dishes, these two Italian kinds of cheese will do just that. 

But the question remains: Parmesan or Romano, which is tastier, melts gracefully, and is best suited for these dishes. 

We will discuss all of that in this article — slide your seat forward and sit upright because you can’t afford to miss a word on this page. 

What Is Pecorino Romano Cheese?

Romano cheese is a hard Italian cheese with a nutty, umami flavor and a crystalline texture. The cheese is named after Rome as its city of origin.

While “Romano” is used to classify hard, salty cheese, it is manufactured from goat, cow, or sheep’s milk. The flavor is saltier and more robust, making it the champion for pasta dishes and pizza

You can grate it over any pizza and pasta dishes for that extra punch. When mixed into soups, meatballs, or stews, the salty characteristics help add savory flavors. You can also complement your potatoes, bread, veggies, sauces, and dressings with this cheese. 

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan is a complex, granular Italian cheese made with unpasteurized cow’s milk. And it is aged up to 12 months before being sold out. The birthplace of this famous Italian hard cheese is Parma, an Italian province. But now it is commonly sold all over the world. 

Parmesan cheese is yellowish with a fruity, nutty taste. It is mostly eaten either on its own as a snack, used in soups and risottos, or grated over plates of pasta, salads, and pizza. 

Besides, Parmesan is an excellent source of Potassium, iron, vitamin A, D, and more. 

Romano Cheese Vs Parmesan [Key Differences]

Origin

Both Romano cheese and Parmesan are natives of Italy but are predominantly made from different regions. For instance, real Parmesan (called Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) MUST be made and transported from the Parma region of Italy. 

Meanwhile, Parmesan is the general name given to similar cheese made outside Italy. 

On the other hand, Romano cheese was traditionally made in the countryside surrounding Rome. But recently, Sardinia appears to be the main product center with some manufacturers based in the U.S.

Ingredients

The ingredients and taste are what tell all the difference. 

Romano cheese is made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, while the latter is a blend of full cream and skimmed cow’s milk, which gives it a milder flavor. 

The milk is always taken from cows that have only fed on grass and hey. Romano cheese is usually aged five to six before being sold for consumption. However, Parmesan takes up to ten months and more. 

Appearance

It is tricky for someone who doesn’t have the eye to tell apart Romano from Parmesan cheeses because both have a creamy yellow color. 

They are both hard cheeses and slightly crumbly when cut. But there are dwindle signs you could bank on like Romano cheese tends to have a milky white appearance when young, whereas Parmesan cheese is yellowish.   

Texture-wise, Romano cheese has a hard grating-type texture. 

Parmesan cheese is also has a hard yet granular texture. It is advisable to opt for both pieces of cheese in wedges instead of pre-grated because their moisture and freshness will still be intact. 

Taste

Romano and Parmesan cheese share a similar flavor profile; only Romano cheese is saltier and tangy flavored. 

They are best used melted in gratin dishes, pasta, pesto, and other sauces. You can also grate or eat them with crackers plus cucumber and fresh tomatoes. 

However, Parmesan is mildly salty and nutty, which can make your palate sore sometimes. But it is excellent with pasta dishes, salad, and even soups. 

Nutrition

Both Romano and Parmesan have outstanding nutritional value. They are a rich source of protein and calcium.

But unlike most cheeses with considerable fat content (around 27 percent), Romano and Parmesan are lower in fat. 

Conclusion

So that’s all for Romano cheese vs Parmesan comparison. But the question still stands: which will it be, Romano or Parmesan cheese? 

Since Romano is saltier and more potent in flavor, it will serve as a great flavor-enhancing agent in pasta dishes, soups, and pizza. Although, not everyone will enjoy the extra punch and salty taste in their pizza. This is where the milder parmesan cheese will gladly step in. 

If you’re trying to whip up a tomato-based sauce and spaghetti, Romano is the right call because Parmesan will lose in the dish’s acidity.

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