What's the Diff? Parmigiano-Reggiano vs Pecornio Romano ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's the Diff? Parmigiano-Reggiano vs Pecornio Romano

I've been wondering what the difference between Parmigiano and Pecornio Romano cheeses are for years but have always been too lazy to find out. But Martha (that's Martha Stewart, of course) has done the dirty work for me. According to the September issue of Martha Stewart Living, the primary difference between Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano chesses is that the former is made from cow's milk and the latter is made from sheep's milk!

Beyond that, Parmigiano is aged longer than Pecorino Romano. And as you probably have noticed, the Romano costs a lot less. Pecornio Romano is significantly drier, more crumbly, and less versatile than Parmigiano. Martha says only the Parm can hold its own on a cheese plate or as an element in a salad or veggie dish while the Romano is better suited for use as a finishing element for pasta, pizza or other baked dishes.

And, of course, they are each from the specific regions of Italy for which they are named. Similar cheeses that are not from those regions cannot bear these exact names thanks to Italy's Denomination of Protected Origin certification laws (just as any sparkling white wine that is NOT made in Champagne, France cannot legally be called champagne.)


Michael said...

I knew why I was buying it (cheap-ass), but I never knew exactly what it was. Thanks Evie!

Eve Fox said...

Yeah, I did the same thing and always wondered why it was so much cheaper...