Difference between Romano and Parmesan Cheese

January 11, 2017 by Editorial Team

Cheese is an ingredient used in appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and even desserts. There are different categories of cheese depending their texture, origin, or intended period of consumption. Some people have difficulty identifying the difference between Romano cheese and a similar cheese, Parmesan cheese. What is the difference between Romano and Parmesan cheese? Let’s discuss it in this article

Descriptions

Romano vs Parmesan Cheese
Sliced Romano cheese

Romano cheese is a type of hard cheese that originated from central and southern Italy. It is made from milk from a cow, sheep or goat or a mixture of all of these. There are different names for Romano cheese, depending on the type of milk used. “Romano Vaccino” is made from cow’s milk, “Romano Pecorino” from sheep’s milk, and “Romano Caprino” from goat’s milk. Romano cheese is aged from eight months to one year. It must contain at least 38% milk fat and less than 34% water.

Romano cheese has a creamy white color with hard and granular texture. Its flavor is sharp and piquant. Grated Romano cheese can be sprinkled over pasta, pizza, soups, salads, or steamed vegetables. It is also used as a substitute or in combination with Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is a type of hard cheese that originated in Parma, Italy. It is made from cow’s milk, and the cows must have had a diet of grass and/or hay. Parmesan is aged over ten months. It must contain at least 32% milk fat and less than 32% water.

Parmesan cheese has a pale yellow color with a granular texture. Its flavor is sweet, nutty, buttery, and intensifies with age. Similar to Romano cheese, freshly grated Parmesan can be sprinkled over pizzas, pasta, and steamed vegetables. Parmesan chunks can be drizzled with balsamic vinegar. In Italy, it is served as a dessert with figs, walnuts, and red wine.

Romano vs Parmesan Cheese

While both Romano and Parmesan are both hard cheeses, there are differences in origin, physical appearance, taste, content, and method of consumption.

Origin

Romano cheese originated from central and southern Italy while Parmesan cheese is from Parma, Italy.

Physical Appearance

Romano cheese has a creamy white color with hard, granular texture. Parmesan cheese has a pale yellow color with granular texture.

Taste

The flavor of Romano cheese is sharp and piquant while the flavor of Parmesan cheese is sweet, nutty, buttery, and intensifies with age.

Content

Romano cheese can be made from milk from a cow, sheep or goat. It must contain at least 38% milk fat and less than 34% water. On the other hand, Parmesan cheese is made from cow’s milk from cows that grazed on hay and grass. It must contain at least 32% milk fat and less than 32% water.

Method of Consumption

Both grated Romano cheese and grated Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled over pasta, pizza, soups, salads, or steamed vegetables. Parmesan chunks can be drizzled with balsamic vinegar and can be served as a dessert with figs, red wine, and walnuts.

Comparison Chart

Romano CheeseParmesan Cheese
Originated in central and southern ItalyOriginated in Parma, Italy
Contains at least 38% milk fat and less than 34% waterContains at least 32% milk fat and less than 32% water
Sharp and piquant flavorSweet, nutty, buttery flavor that intensifies with age
Has a creamy white color with a hard, granular textureHas a pale yellow color with a granular texture
Sprinkled over pasta, pizza, soups, salads, or steamed vegetablesSprinkled over pasta, pizza, soups, salads, or steamed vegetables; can also be drizzled with balsamic vinegar or can be served as a dessert with figs, red wine, and walnuts

Video

Here is a video that shows you how Parmesan cheese is made.