If you love pasta, then you must be familiar with the classic Italian cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano. It is a hard, granular cheese that is made from cow’s milk and aged for at least 12 months.
But what if you don’t have any Parmigiano Reggiano in your pantry Can you use Parmesan cheese instead Let’s find out.
What is Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is a hard, dry cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It has a nutty and salty flavor and a granular texture, similar to Parmigiano Reggiano. However, unlike Parmigiano Reggiano, which can only be produced in certain regions of Italy using specific production methods, Parmesan cheese can be produced anywhere using different production methods.
Can You Substitute Parmesan Cheese for Parmigiano Reggiano
Yes, you can use Parmesan cheese as a substitute for Parmigiano Reggiano in most recipes. Since the two cheeses have similar flavors and textures, they can be used interchangeably in dishes like pasta, pizza, and salads without affecting the taste significantly.
However, it’s worth noting that there are some differences between the two cheeses that might affect the outcome of your recipe. For instance:
- Aging: While both cheeses are aged for at least 12 months before being sold, the aging process of each cheese differs slightly. As a result, Parmigiano Reggiano has a slightly nuttier flavor than Parmesan cheese.
- Production: As mentioned earlier, while both cheeses are made from cow’s milk, they are produced differently. The cows that produce milk for making Parmigiano Reggiano are fed with specific diets to ensure the highest quality milk, whereas the cows that produce milk for making Parmesan cheese may not be fed the same diets.
When Should You Use Parmigiano Reggiano
If you’re making a dish that requires a specific type of cheese, like a classic Italian pasta dish, it’s best to use Parmigiano Reggiano. Its unique flavor profile can make a significant difference in the outcome of your dish.
Additionally, if you’re serving cheese on its own or as part of a cheese platter, you should opt for Parmigiano Reggiano. Its complex flavor and texture make it an excellent standalone cheese.
While both Parmesan cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano are hard, granular cheeses with similar flavors and textures, they are not entirely interchangeable. If you’re making a classic Italian dish or serving cheese on its own, it’s best to use Parmigiano Reggiano. However, if you’re making a simple pasta dish or salad, you can use either cheese without affecting the taste significantly.