Have you ever tried Pecorino Romano cheese and wondered how to replace it? Look no further.
This article will provide an overview of this unique Italian cheese and provide five tasty substitutes that you can use.
Whether you’re creating an Italian-style dish or looking to make a dish vegan, now you can explore the best alternatives to Pecorino Romano.
You won’t miss the flavor.
What’s Pecorino Romano Cheese?
Pecorino Romano is a variety of hard cheese made from sheep’s milk.
It has been in production since ancient Roman times, and today it is a popular ingredient throughout Italy, as well as in many other parts of the world.
One of its most distinguishing characteristics is that it is quite salty and sharp in flavor.
The name Pecorino Romano comes from the Italian word “pecora,” which means “sheep.
” This particular type of cheese is aged for at least five months, giving it a strong, sharp taste that makes it an excellent addition to many dishes.
It can be used both as a grating cheese and as an additive to cooked dishes, adding an unique flavor to any meal.
When selecting Pecorino Romano cheese, look for hard wedges with no signs of mold or cracks on their surfaces.
In general, the more aged the cheese is, the sharper and saltier its flavor will be.
As such, try to find freshly made wedges when possible for the best results in cooking.
Pecorino Romano also pairs well with various wines – white wines such as Pinot Grigio or Falanghina complement its strong taste nicely, while red wines with pronounced fruit notes like Aglianico go well with lighter varieties of this cheese.
Regardless of your choice of beverage accompaniment however, this type of hard sheep’s milk cheese will add sophistication and flavor to any dish due to its unique taste profile.
5 Best Pecorino Romano Cheese Substitutes to Consider
If you can’t find Pecorino Romano in your local grocery store, there are a few substitutes that you can use.
Here are five of the top Pecorino Romano cheese substitutes to consider:
1 – Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is an Italian hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk.
It is aged for at least a year and sometimes up to three years, making it one of the most complex and flavorful cheeses out there.
It has a salty, nutty flavor and is usually grated over dishes or used in recipes that require melted cheese.
This type of cheese resembles Pecorino Romano but is less salty and slightly more buttery.
Parmigiano-Reggiano can be used in any recipe calling for Pecorino Romano, though it may change the flavor slightly – especially when grated as a topping instead of as a melting agent.
2 – Grana Padano Cheese
Grana Padano Cheese is an Italian hard, granular cheese made from raw cow’s milk which is then cooked and ripened for nine to twenty months in cave-like rooms.
Traditionally, it was made in Northern Italy regions such as Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont, where grass and herbs give the cheese a unique flavor.
During production, the cheese creators use a special technique called “stemmaggio” or pressing on the rind of the wheels with metal rods to ensure that no air enters the cheese or causes it to crack.
The cheese has a hard finish on the outside with tiny crystals due to long aging period.
Grana Padano Cheese has a granular texture on the inside with small eyes (holes) scattered throughout.
It is slightly nutty in flavor which makes it comparable to Pecorino Romano – although usually not as strong in taste -, but with much more subtlety.
3 – Manchego Cheese
Manchego cheese is a Spanish cheese that is made from the milk of Manchega sheep.
It has a slightly nutty flavor and is often described as being “earthy.
” The cheese ranges from mild to sharp in flavor, depending on its age.
It can be used as a substitute for Pecorino Romano as it has similar characteristics.
Manchego cheese can also be used in salads, sauces, soups, or simply eaten on its own with some crackers or bread.
It is an excellent choice for adding flavor to dishes without overpowering them with the tang of Pecorino Romano.
4 – Cotija Cheese
Cotija cheese is similar to Pecorino Romano but with a creamier taste and texture.
It’s a Mexican cow’s milk cheese, crumbly and salty.
Its beauty is this cheese doesn’t melt easily, so it’s perfect if you want to keep the original shape of your dish or add flavor and texture to a topping or casserole without it becoming runny.
Cotija can be found in both flavored and plain versions that go perfectly with tacos, salads, refried beans and quesadillas.
It has a high fat content, which gives it a slightly nutty aftertaste.
5 – Asiago Cheese
Asiago cheese is a hard, granular cow’s milk cheese that has a nutty and milky flavor.
It originates from the Asiago Plateau in northern Italy.
Asiago cheese comes in three varieties: Fresco, Mezzano, and Vecchio, which reflect the type of processing they have undergone and their flavor as they age.
Fresco is one of the youngest varieties, with a mild taste and creamy texture.
Mezzano has a buttery and nutty flavor which gets stronger as it ages.
Vecchio features a mature flavor that is slightly sharp with intense aromas.
Asiago can be used for grating over pasta dishes or soups for an extra sharpness, or in place of Pecorino Romano when baking recipes like lasagna or stuffing for roasted chicken.
In conclusion, Pecorino Romano cheese is a firm, salty and flavorful sheep’s milk cheese that is used widely in Italian Cuisine.
It adds a unique flavor to dishes and can be used in everything from pasta dishes to salads.
With its distinctive taste, there are few substitutes that can recreate the same flavor.
However, some excellent alternatives include Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, Cotija Cheese or even feta or ricotta salada cheeses.
All these cheeses provide a similar flavor profile and texture to Pecorino Romano Cheese making them an ideal alternative for use in recipes when Pecorino Romano Cheese may be not available.
Ultimately all these substitutes should be tried before selecting the one that best suits the dish being prepared.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!