26 May 2011

All Roads Lead to Romano



Here we examine a few cousins of Parmesan cheese from around the world and a brief history of their heritage and uses, from grating to eating. Don't be so quick to throw the rind of these cheeses aside. It's great for cooking dishes such as poulet chasseur, too.

No. 1
Pecorino Romano Sini Fulvi DOP, Sardinia, Italy
Unpasturized, aged sheep's milk cheese used for grating on pasta or cooking. Pecoronio Romano is a hard cheese named after the city of Rome, but actually produced in Sardinia after the practice of salting cheeses locally in shops was banned in Rome in the 19th Century. It is always made of Sheep's milk (pecora: sheep) Romano is a more robust and less nutty alternative to Parmesan with a pungent flavor that pairs well with tomato-based dishes.

No. 2
(Pecorino Romano) Locatelli, Sardinia, Italy
Unpasturized, aged sheep's milk cheese used for grating on pasta or cooking. Locatelli is actually a trade name of a certain maker of Pecorino Romano.

No. 3
Stravecchio "Extra-Aged" Parmesan, Wisconsin, USA
A pasteurized cow's milk variety of a hard salted cooking cheese and a lighter alternative to Parmesan cheeses. In fact, it's really not a substitute at all. It's not as dry or salty, making it a better candidate for eating solo as a snack or for dessert.

No. 4
Reggianito, Argentina
Made by Italian immigrants in Argentina who longed for a cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano. Made of cow's milk, which is more plentiful in the area, and slightly saltier than Parmesan. Often sold as Parmesan in the United States.

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