Pecorino vs Parmesan: What's the Difference?
What's the difference between Pecorino and Parmigiano? Discover how to distinguish these two Italian cheeses, and how to serve them or use in recipes.
Now, let's start this head-to-head: Pecorino Romano vs Parmigiano Reggiano.
Pecorino vs Parmesan cheese
Pecorino Romano characteristics
Pecorino is a hard cheese produced with sheep's milk. It has a whitish color and a savory taste, with pungent notes. Pecorino has a tradition of more than two millenniums, it was already used by the Romans who introduced it in the daily ration of legionnaires, as an indispensable font of energy. Pecorino Romano is a DOP cheese, that is a certification of quality that indicates a special production that must occur in a specific place, with selected ingredients. The milk used to produce Pecorino comes from Sardegna, Lazio and the Southern areas of Tuscany.
You can buy Pecorino in slices, grated or the whole wheel: just pay attention to the place of origin and to the milk used: it must contain sheep's milk only!
Parmigiano Reggiano texture and flavor
Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard cheese, with a grainy structure and a very flavorful consistency. You can recognize nutty notes in the aftertaste. It's a cow's milk cheese, energizing and easly digestible. It has not preservatives and it's a big quality cheese. Parmesan cheese is made of milk, salt and rennet.
It is produced in the provinces of Parma (of course), Reggio Emilia, Modena, Mantova and Bologna. Parmigiano Reggiano is also often confused with Grana Padano, they are more simiiar but there are some important differences between Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano.
How to recognize the real Parmigiano Reggiano?
- It' has a straw color.
- The rind of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese has the name written in a uppercase dotted style.
- Place of production written in the package.
- Ageing: 18, 22 or 30 months.
Can you use Pecorino instead of Parmesan?
It depends on the recipes that you are cooking: maybe you could like a first course with tomato sauce, seasoned with Pecorino instead of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Generally Pecorino grated over a Pasta dish is a habit of Southern Italy: the most famous recipes are the first courses of Roman cuisine like Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e pepe, Gricia... Most pasta recipes (especially those which come from the North of Italy) usually are seasoned with Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano. But we recommend not to sSubstitute parmesan for pecorino iif you are not sure of the taste of your guests. Many people find the taste of Pecorino too strong and almos umbearbale! Actually, either you love it or you hate it!
And since many know Pecorino Romano, but ignore many other traditional types of Pecorino, discover our exceptional selection of regional Pecorino cheeses.