Romano Cheese Vs Parmesan: What’s The Difference?
If you are a cheese lover, you may be familiar with the Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese which are granulated cheese and often grated on the top dishes like pasta, pizza, salad, etc.
But often you may be confused about identifying them. Are they the same actually? If not what are the major differences between them? Is the milk used in their productions the same?
Let us go through this article to know the major differences between them.
Difference Between Romano Cheese And Parmesan Cheese
What Is Romano Cheese?
The Romano cheese, generally known as Pecorino Romano cheese is one of the oldest cheese in the world and is having a hard granular texture that is produced from sheep’s milk and has got a milky white color.
It is aged for about 5-8 months and is having a nutty, salty, and sharp flavor. Its saltier flavor makes it a good match with plates of pasta and pizza when grated at the top. It also tastes great with soups, meatballs, potatoes, slices of bread, veggies, etc.
What Is Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is the most flavorful cheese found in the world. It is made to imitate the Parmigiano-Reggiano (real Parmesan) cheese which is classified as DOP and manufactured in the Reggiano region of Italy at a certain time to bear the label of the region.
Like Romano cheese, it is also a hard granular textured cheese but it is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and has got a pale yellow color.
It is fermented for about 1 year before selling and has got a sharp, complex, and salty flavor. It goes well with melty dishes like sauce, soup, etc., or can also be eaten alone.
Even though the Romano cheese and Parmesan look the same when grated on the top of several dishes, they are really different.
Romano cheese is one of the oldest cheeses in Italy that was manufactured in the first century of BC. romano cheese is named after its city of origin ‘Rome’.
It was made mainly with the intention to feed soldiers as they last without spoiling for a long time. But recently, the production of Romano cheese is moved to Sardinia with some manufacturers based in the US.
While Parmesan cheese is also an Italian cheese made outside Italy. It was made by the US, Australia, and other countries to meet the demand for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the production of which was limited to certain areas of Italy.
The real Parmesan cheese is Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the Parmesan cheese which is found all over the world is an imitation of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Parmesan cheese, named after the Parma region of Italy doesn’t have any restrictions and it is available anywhere at any time.
Romano cheese is produced from goat’s or sheep’s milk and it is fermented for a period of five to six months before consumption. As it is made from sheep’s milk, it has got a sharper, saltier flavor.
Parmesan cheese on the other hand is produced from full-fat and skimmed cow’s milk. The cow from which the milk is taken is always grass-fed and hey-fed. This gives Parmesan cheese a milder flavor and it is fermented for a period of ten months or more before use.
Texture And Color
It is difficult to differentiate Romano cheese and Parmesan as both are of the same texture when seen on the top of dishes. Both have a hard texture and somewhat the same color, but you can catch it out by certain signs.
Actually, the Romano cheese is having a hard grating-type texture while the texture of Parmesan is hard and granular.
Romano cheese will appear milky white when young whereas Parmesan cheese will appear yellowish.
It is advisable to buy both in wedges instead of pre-grated form which will make it hard to identify.
Both Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese have almost the same taste, apart from one difference that Romano cheese is saltier and tangy flavored than Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is milder compared with Romano cheese.
The salty flavor of Romano cheese makes it best with gratin dishes, pasta, pesto, and several sauces. It is also great when grated with crackers, cucumber, and tomatoes.
Mild-flavored Parmesan is mainly used with pasta, salads, and soups.
Both Roman cheese and Parmesan cheese have great nutritional value. They are a rich source of protein and calcium and are lower in fat.
Romano cheese is rich in calcium, sodium, phosphorus, protein, and saturated fat.
Parmesan cheese is a rich source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin 12, zinc, phosphorus, and copper.
Now, you might have understood that Romano cheese and Parmesan cheese are entirely different from each other even though they look similar and taste somewhat the same except for the saltier flavor of Romano cheese.
Its saltier flavor makes it serve with most dishes.
But everyone will not like the strong, sharp flavor in their dishes, in that case, they can switch to Parmesan cheese which is milder in flavor. If you are making sauce with tomato, Romano cheese is the best combination as Parmesan will lose the acidity of the dish.
However, you can use any of them depending on your taste and the dishes.