Difference Between Romano and Parmesan Cheese (With Table)

Romano and Parmesan cheese are two widely known names of the hard cheese family. They both are an essential part of an Italian pasta and pizza dish. They are almost the same in appearance and very hard to identify without trying them. The strong flavors of Romano and Parmesan cheese are enough to make any pizza, pasta dish more delicious.

Romano vs Parmesan Cheese

The difference between Romano and Parmesan cheese is that Romano cheese is generally made from sheep’s milk (ewe’s milk). On the other hand, Parmesan cheese is made from grass-fed cow’s milk. Romano is a salty and tangy flavored cheese. While Parmesan tastes mild salty, and nutty.

Romano cheese is available in both fresh and dehydrated forms. The name of the cheese originated from its area of origin, Rome. This cheese has a sharp, tangy, and salty flavor. The appearance of the cheese is milky white. An Italian Romano cheese is made from ewe’s milk.

Parmesan cheese is mostly used to diversify flavors in pizza and pasta dishes. It is famous among cheese lovers for its sharp and nutty flavor. This hard cheese comes in both fresh and dried forms. Parmesan is a light yellowish cheese with a hard texture.

Comparison Table Between Romano and Parmesan Cheese

Parameters of Comparison  Romano Cheese  Parmesan Cheese  
Origin of Names  The name of the cheese Romano comes from its area of origin, Rome.    The name Parmesan comes from the Parma region of Italy.  
Color  It has a milky white appearance.  Parmesan cheese is yellowish.  
Texture  Romano cheese has a hard grating-type texture.  Parmesan cheese has a hard and granular texture.  
Age  That cheese is aged for five to six months longer.  Parmesan is aged over 10 months.  
Flavor  Sharp, salty and tangy flavor.  Less salty, sharp, and fruity flavor.  
Production method  Romano cheese is mainly made from sheep‘s milk (ewe’s milk).  Parmesan cheese is made from full cream, grass-fed cow’s milk.  

What is Romano Cheese?

Romano is a famous name of the hard cheese family. In the U. S and Canada, it is known as Romano cheese and very similar to Pecorino Romano cheese which is an Italian product. Romano cheese can be manufactured from goat, cow, or sheep’s milk. The flavor of the cheese is saltier and stronger, which gives pizza an extra punch.

As per the rules and regulations of the FDA, the Romano cheese must contain a minimum of 38% milk-fat and less than 34% water. This cheese is often grated over various types of pizza and pasta dishes. Furthermore, the domestic version of Romano cheese is made from cow’s full cream milk, and it gives a milder flavor to the dishes.

The strong flavor of Romano cheese sometimes makes a dish more salty and tangy. Not everyone enjoys the sharp flavor of Romano cheese. This cheese is originated near Rome. Romano cheese is made with the technique called ‘rummaging cured,’ and it must be aged at least 5 months before it is sold.

What is Parmesan Cheese?

The name Parmesan is originated from the Italian province of Parma. Parmigiano Reggiano, also known as Parmesan cheese, is a famous Italian hard cheese. The city is traditionally considered the birthplace of that cheese. This granular cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. For this cheese-making process, the milk of grass or hay-fed cow is used, and that’s why the color of the cheese is yellowish.

The only additive agent in this cheese is salt. An original Parmesan cheese has a sharp, fruity, and nutty taste. Parmesan is commonly used over kinds of pasta and soup dishes. It can also be grated over other dishes like salads and pizza. Parmesan cheese is aged over ten months. It comes in both fresh and dehydrated forms. It is one of the most sold cheese all over the world.

Parmesan cheese is a great source of vitamin A, D, potassium, and iron. The fat content in Parmesan cheese is 25.83 g/100 g., and the calcium content is 1184 mg/100 g. The hard, gritty texture and the fruity taste of Parmesan cheese can make any pizza or pasta dish more enjoyable. The mild flavor of Parmesan cheese makes it the famous cheese of all time.

Main Differences Between Romano and Parmesan Cheese

  1. The name Romano derives from its area of origin, Rome. On the other hand, the name Parmesan is derived from the Parma provide of Italy, the area of its origin.
  2. Romano cheese is whitish. While Parmesan cheese is golden white.
  3. Romano cheese has a salty and tangy flavor. On the other hand, Parmesan cheese has a fruity and nutty flavor.
  4. Parmesan cheese is more famous than Romano cheese for its mild flavor.
  5. Fresh Romano cheese contains more fat and moisture than Parmesan cheese.
  6. Romano cheese is made from ewe’s milk (sheep’s milk). While Parmesan is generally made from full cream milk of the grass-fed cow.

Conclusion

A portion of traditional Italian food is incomplete without cheese in it. Cheese is an inseparable part of an Italian dish like pizza and pasta. The history of Italian cheese is very interesting. With the Roman Empire, the practice of naming foods after their places of origin has begun. Romano and Parmesan both are hard and salty cheese, excellent for grating on pasta, soup, or salads.

According to FDA guidelines, any cow’s milk cheese with a granular texture that grates smoothly can be branded as Parmesan cheese in the United States. Parmesan is known for its nutty flavor, and the aging process helps it to create that punch in flavor. At first glance, Romano cheese may seem similar to Parmesan, but it’s not. Romano is made from sheep’s cheese which gives it an earthy and grassy taste.

Both Romano and Parmesan cheese can be a part of a healthy diet. If you use an excessive amount of cheese in your food, then sure it would do damage your health, but if you keep control of its intake, then it is harmless for your health.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095869460400281X
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1994.tb14703.x
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