Romano is an Italian hard cheese made mostly from cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or a combination of two or more ingredients.
There are different types of Romano cheese that have been produced since the first century B.C. Pecorino Romano, an exclusive Italian cheese, is the most famous example of Romano cheese.
Romano cheese is a dairy that can amp up the flavor and this firm and full-bodied cheese are bolder, zesty, saltier, and a tad bossier than its relative parmesan.
Use all the Romano cheese varieties on your pasta, steamed veggies, broiled fish, or baked breadsticks when you wish to boost their flavor.
Table of Contents
- What is Romano Cheese Made Of?
- Types of Romano Cheeses
- 1. Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- 3. Asiago Cheese
- How to Choose an Authentic Cheese
- 1. Shape
- 2. Approval Stamp
- 3. Age
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Best Romano Cheese?
- What’s the distinction between Pecorino Romano and Romano?
- Are Pecorino and Pecorino Romano the same thing?
- What is another name for Romano Cheese?
- What’s the difference between Parmesan and Permigiano-Reggiano cheese?
What is Romano Cheese Made Of?
Cow, goat, and/or sheep’s milk can all be used to make Romano cheese. It must have a water content of less than 34% and a milk fat content of at least 38%.
To get the desired degree of milk fat, cream, skim milk, and/or dry milk, as well as water, can be added or subtracted.
Potassium alum, calcium sulfate, or magnesium carbonate can be used to bleach milk, but vitamin A must be added afterward. Only add safe artificial blue coloring to counteract any yellow coloring in the milk.
Rennet is optional; any “appropriate milk-clotting enzyme that causes similar curd production” can be used instead. The curd must be broken up into maize kernel-sized pieces and stirred.
Types of Romano Cheeses
Although they are all hard, gratable Italian cheeses, Asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano are not the same things.
A trip to your neighborhood supermarkets’ cheese area can be scary, especially when all of the blocks seem strikingly identical and have labels that suggest they may or may not be equivalent. “Is there any truth here?” You may often wonder.
Knowing the tiny variations across all three will make your next detour through this perplexing section of the supermarket smooth, and…CHEESY (sorry, had to).
1. Pecorino Romano cheese
Pecorino Romano is one of the world’s oldest cheeses, with roots in medieval Rome, and it’s hard, somewhat greasy, brittle texture and salty, sour flavor deserve a second look now that it’s more recognized cousin, Parmigiano-Reggiano, has faded from view.
Pecorino Romano is a sheep’s milk cheese made in Sardinia, a location in central Italy, with inescapable flavor and textural variances.
Pecorino Romano is significantly saltier and sharper tasting than traditional Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese) because sheep’s milk has a more sour taste than cow’s milk.
Pecorino Romano has a somewhat shorter maturation window than Parmigiano-Reggiano, ranging from 5-8 months.
2. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Parmigiano-Reggiano is classified as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).
This means that the components, sourcing, and manufacturing processes must all be closely controlled for the finished product to bear the label of this highly sought-after cheese.
It’s comparable to Parmesan in that it’s a cow’s milk cheese with rennet (sorry, vegetarians), but the age and provenance regulations are far more stringent.
Only two locations in Northern Italy produce it, and it must be fermented for at least one year, however some are stored for up to 36 months.
This product is the real deal, thanks to its limited production, extensive age time, and makers’ meticulous attention to detail during the cheese making process.
It’ll apparently cost somewhat more than Parmesan, but there’s no doubting that it can enhance just about anything, whether on the table or in the kitchen. No offense to Parmesan, but this stuff is unquestionably superior.
3. Asiago Cheese
Asiago is an Italian cow’s milk cheese from the northeast. It’s classified as a mountain or Alpine cheese, and its flavor varies depending on how long it’s been aged.
Asiago Pressato is a semi-soft, mild-flavored Asiago cheese. Aged Asiago (Asiago D’Allevo) is divided into three categories: two months, three months, and at least nine months. The longer it ages, the firmer, dryer, and sharper it becomes.
The flavor of Asiago cheese is sweet and nutty. It’s great for eating alone, especially for the younger Asiagos.
How to Choose an Authentic Cheese
If you want to taste the incredible flavor of these Italian cheeses, here are some suggestions for selecting your cheese:
Wedge-shaped cheese is always the best option. Your cheese will be much fresher, and shredding it yourself will create amazing fragrances.
2. Approval Stamp
Look for cheeses with stamped peels or seals inscribed on the label. These symbols usually indicate that the cheese has indeed been authorized to satisfy a certain level of quality.
If you’re not sure about the flavor, ask how long the cheese has already been grown. There will be no gentle and creamy aging. A year (or more) of aging produces a firm, sharp cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Romano Cheese?
Pecorino Romano: All of the Italian Pecorino Romano cheeses are recommended in our lineup, but our favorite is the “pungent, salty, and sharp” cheese, which is widely accessible and reasonably priced.
What’s the distinction between Pecorino Romano and Romano?
Romano, like Parmigiano, is a good cheese. Pecorino Romano, on the other hand, is light in color and it has a somewhat saltier, stronger, pungent flavor.
Are Pecorino and Pecorino Romano the same thing?
Pecorino is a sheep’s milk cheese family from Italy that comprises Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Toscano, Pecorino Sardo, and Pecorino Siciliano.
In the hard grating cheese market, Pecorino Romano rivals Parmigiano Reggiano, but is saltier and less flavorful.
What is another name for Romano Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is a popular substitute name for Romano. Parmigiano-Reggiano is a firm, dried cow’s milk cheese called after the Italian city of Parma.
What’s the difference between Parmesan and Permigiano-Reggiano cheese?
To be classed as Parmigiano-Reggiano, a cheese must come from specific regions of Italy and include only specific ingredients.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is also matured for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years.
Parmesan cheese, on either hand, is unrestricted and can be matured as young as ten months.
All of that said, if you’re going to buy some kind of solid Italian cheese, it’s generally in your benefit to avoid anything that has been pre-grated, as cheese begins to lose moisture once it’s sliced.
Inquire with the salesman or woman about how recent your cheese was chopped, and if it’s been long, see if they can slice you a new block.
Look more closely at the tag as you’re scoping out the cheese you’d want.