Parmesan Recipes - Discover Ways to Add this Delicious Hard Cheese to Your Meals

Rich, bold and tangy, our favourite Italian hard cheese elevates roast potatoes, pastas, chicken dishes and more.

Pecorino vs. Parmesan Cheese: What’s the Difference?

Due to their similarities, many people wonder what the difference is between pecorino and Parmesan cheese. Well, they can both be enjoyed whole but are equally delightful grated on top of a variety of recipes, including pasta bakes and pizzas, and both have a distinctive tang. As well as their versatility, they look similar. They’re both white cheese, flaky and flecked with crystals.

So with all these similarities between the two cheeses, you may still be wondering, what’s the difference between pecorino and Parmesan? One key difference is that pecorino, known for its salty and sharp flavour, is made from sheep’s milk, while Parmesan is made from cow's milk. Additionally, pecorino has a more intense taste compared to parmesan, with a distinctive nutty flavour.

Another distinction between the cheeses lies in their ageing processes and regional origins. Pecorino Romano, a popular variety, is typically aged for eight to 12 months, resulting in a robust and piquant flavour. Parmesan, or Parmigiano-Reggiano, ages for 12 to 36 months, developing a complex, savoury taste and granular texture.

Can you use pecorino romano instead of Parmesan?

If you’d like a little more kick in flavour, you can enjoy some pecorino Romano as an alternative to Parmesan. However, our Senior Recipe Development Manager, Mimi Morley, suggests making sure to use pecorino carefully because the flavour is more intense and will make more of a statement in your cheese recipes.

For example, if you’re using pecorino when the recipe calls for Parmesan cheese, consider using one-third less as a rule of thumb, to account for the heightened taste and saltiness.

Parmesan Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze Parmesan?

Yes, you can freeze Parmesan. In fact, freezing is a great way to cut down on your food waste. Hard cheeses like Parmesan freeze well because they have a low moisture content. Bear in mind that the texture and overall quality will degrade and you won’t have an easy time slicing them once frozen. However, you might not need to freeze your Parmesan at all, as an unopened block of parmesan cheese can last up to six months in the fridge. Due to having a low moisture content and therefore being less prone to bacteria, parmesan will keep for longer than other types of cheeses. Just check for any hardening or darkening before eating.

What does Parmesan taste like?

Parmesan cheese boasts a rich, nutty and bold flavour with a slightly salty undertone, making it a versatile and not overwhelming addition to many dishes. Its granular texture and taste profile elevate all manner of dishes, from pastas and vegetables, to soups and salads.

What does Parmesan go with?

Parmesan’s tangy flavour perfectly accompanies the likes of aubergine and chicken, for instance, as well as being a vital ingredient in the very finest roast potatoes. Grated Parmesan also makes a perfect finishing touch to pasta dishes, where you want to take the flavour up a notch without adding an overwhelming flavour.

Is Parmesan cheese vegetarian?

Parmesan cheese is not considered vegetarian, due to how the cheese is made, using an ingredient called rennet which is crucial to the Parmesan production process. Rennet is made using animal products, which is the reason traditional Parmesan cheese cannot be considered vegetarian.

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