When it comes to Italian cuisine, one of the most widely used and loved ingredients is undoubtedly Parmesan cheese. This hard and nutty cheese with a distinct flavor is a staple in many dishes, from pasta to salads, soups, and even desserts.
But what if you run out of Parmesan or cannot find it in your local store? What cheese is similar to Parmesan? Let’s explore some options.
1. Pecorino Romano
If you’re looking for a close substitute for Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano is the first one that comes to mind.
Like Parmesan, Pecorino Romano is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk but has a saltier and sharper taste. It’s commonly used as a grating cheese on pasta dishes and salads.
2. Grana Padano
Grana Padano is another Italian hard cheese made from cow’s milk that closely resembles Parmesan in texture and flavor. It has a slightly milder taste than Parmesan but can be used in much the same way, especially as a topping for pasta dishes.
Asiago is an Italian cheese made from cow’s milk that comes in two forms – fresh and aged. The aged Asiago has a similar texture to Parmesan but with a milder flavor profile than both Grana Padano and Pecorino Romano.
Reggianito, also known as Argentine Parmesan or Reggianito Argentino, is an Argentinean cow’s milk cheese that shares many similarities with the classic Italian parmesan. Although it has less complexity in its flavor profile compared to Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan), Reggianito still adds an umami-rich punch when grated onto dishes.
While nothing can quite match the distinct flavor of Parmesan, there are several cheeses that come close enough to use as substitutes in recipes. Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Asiago, and Reggianito are all great options that can be used interchangeably with Parmesan in many dishes. So, next time you’re out of Parmesan, don’t worry – just try one of these alternatives and enjoy a similar taste experience.