Are you a fan of Italian cuisine? If so, you’ve probably come across two types of cheese that sound similar but have distinct differences – Parrano cheese and Parmesan cheese. In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between these two cheeses.

What is Parrano Cheese?

Parrano cheese is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that originated in the Netherlands. It was inspired by Italian cheese-making methods, but it has a unique taste and texture.

Parrano has a nutty, buttery flavor with hints of caramel and a firm, smooth texture. It’s typically aged for six months to one year.

What is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, is a hard, aged Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a sharp, nutty flavor with a granular texture that crumbles easily when grated. Parmesan is typically aged for 18-24 months.

How are They Similar?

Both Parrano and Parmesan are cow’s milk cheeses with rich flavors that make them popular in Italian cuisine. They’re both versatile cheeses that can be used in various dishes such as pasta, risotto, and salads.

How are They Different?

The main difference between Parrano and Parmesan is their texture and aging process. Parrano has a smooth texture with no visible holes or cracks, while Parmesan has a granular texture with visible cracks throughout the cheese.

Another difference is their aging process; Parrano is aged for six months to one year while Parmesan is aged for 18-24 months. This longer aging process gives Parmesan its distinct flavor profile and crumbly texture.

Taste Test

  • Parrano Cheese – Nutty, buttery flavor with hints of caramel. Smooth texture.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Sharp, nutty flavor with granular texture that crumbles easily when grated.

How to Use Them in Cooking

Parrano and Parmesan can be used interchangeably in many recipes, but their unique flavors and textures make them suitable for different dishes. Parrano is great for snacking or as a table cheese because of its mild flavor and smooth texture. It’s also great for melting, making it perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches or mac and cheese.

Parmesan is perfect for grating over pasta dishes or using it as a topping on salads. Its sharp, nutty flavor adds depth to any dish.


In summary, Parrano and Parmesan are both delicious cheeses that have unique characteristics that make them stand out from one another. While they can be used interchangeably in some dishes, their distinct flavors and textures make them better suited for different recipes. Whether you choose Parrano or Parmesan, you’ll be adding an extra layer of flavor to your favorite Italian dishes.