Cheese is a versatile food that people all over the globe love. Only Italy can produce over 400 types of cheese. Different types of cheese can be used depending on their texture or taste. A sprinkle of Italian hard cheese makes savory pasta dishes even more delicious. Moreover, Italian cheese blends make delicious sauces for pasta recipes. Italian cream cheese is an ingredient that can be used in some desserts. How do you feel about the many Italian cheeses? It is important to be familiar with the traditional Italian cuisine. One must know which types of Italian cheese are most popular and how they are used in the preparation of delicious recipes.
15 Best Italian cheese types
Below is a list of 15 most well-known Italian cheese types. You can also see different Italian cheese combinations, such as the Italian blue cheese and sharp Italian cheese types.
Learn about the top Italian hard cheeses and how to make soft Italian cheese. Learn how cheese should be aged and what cheese pairs best with which types of cheese. These cheeses can also be paired well with great white wines, red wines, and sparkling wines. Let’s now look at our Italian cheeses!
1. Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmesan is the number one Italian cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano is the most popular type of Italian cheese, and it comes from the Emilia Romagna area. This classic Italian cheese is well-known and most people have tried it at least once. It has been consumed by Italians since the Middle Ages.
This Italian hard cheese gets richer as it ages. It is crumbly in texture and has a salty, savory taste. Parmigiano Reggiano is best when it has been aged between 26-31 months. These dishes call for Parmesan: grated fresh on pastas, gnocchi and salads.
Parmigiano Reggiano, the best Italian cheese can be used in many delicious recipes such as Torta Salata and sauces. This dish will be delicious no matter how much Parmesan you add.
After 2 years living in Italy, I finally tried a Taleggio for the first-time on my birthday. The birthday is not the only thing that I will be celebrating on this day. I found the best type of Italian cheese I’ve ever tasted.
Taleggio is actually one of my favorite types of cheese. It is semisoft Italian cheese made from washed-rind and smear-ripened. The name comes from Val Taleggio, the valley. Taleggio is characterized by a strong smell, a thin crust, a fruity flavor, and a super soft texture. Taleggio, like other similar Italian cheeses is available since Roman times.
Production is now in the autumn and winter, and it can be made from both pasteurized and raw milk. These are at the very least made in a factory. You want the best taste so make sure you search for small-production brands. If you’ve ever had fondue, I can tell you that Taleggio is a better choice than Brie or Camembert. I recommend melting it and then tasting!
3. Pecorino Romano
The Pecorino is a delicious and sharp Italian cheese. Pecorino Romano is the main ingredient in many delicious dishes like Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe or Pasta alla Carbonara. They are both included in the most popular Roman pasta dishes.
Pecorino, an Italian hard cheese made from sheep milk, is known as Pecorino. The aging process can affect the flavor, making it slightly salty, salty or tangy. There are many types of aged Pecorinos. Also, the cheeses vary from one region to another. One of the most well-known cheeses is the Pecorino Romano. This is one of the cheeses you should bring home from Rome and its environs.
There are 5 other main types of Pecorino Romano cheeses. Pecorino Sardo and Pecorino Toscano are some of the most well-known. These pecorino types differ in the way they are made. This is what determines the taste of the cheese.
4. Grana Padano
Grana Padano is the next Italian cheese to make our list. Grana Padano is another sharp Italian cheese. However, it has been aged less and has a lighter taste than Parmigiano Reggiano. Because of the way Grana Padano is used, many people mistake it for Parmigiano.
Grana Padano, which is not made from sheep milk, is a semi-skimmed cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It is not like parmesan, which is made using sheep milk. Grana Padano has a hard, crumbly texture and is semi-skimmed with natural creaming. Grana Padano can be aged between 9 and 16 month.
Grana Padano, for example, is not only produced in Lombardy but also Trentino Alto Adige and Piedmont. Emilia Romagna and Veneto are the other regions where Grana Padano can be found. Grana Padano’s source is however the Po River and Emilia Romagna, where over 150 Grana Padano factories are located.
Mozzarella, the best Italian cheese for Pizza is a well-known soft Italian cheese. You should be aware that Mozzarella comes in many varieties. This is the most affordable version, which is usually used on pizza.
Mozzarella di Bufala is a more traditional and savory version of Mozzarella. It’s made from buffalo milk. This Mozzarella di bufala is the Mozzarella di Bufala. The buffalo mozzarella is usually more expensive than the other types. However, this mozzarella is often used for culinary purposes when it’s possible to find the best ingredients.
Mozzarella di bufala is creamier, lighter and definitely better than regular cow milk mozzarella. Bocconcini are smaller mozzarella balls that Italians love for appetizers and salads. You can also find mozzarella blocks in supermarkets.
These are the less delicious and harder versions that can be shredded and used for pizza. It is not kept in liquid and does not release liquid during baking. The second version can be kept in its water and packaged in small plastic bags.
Because mozzarella is versatile, it is a common filling for sandwiches. Also, mozzarella can be used in salads and Caprese salads. This delicious summer salad requires only a few ingredients such as fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Season it with salt and basil. It’s ready for you to eat in just a few minutes!
Gorgonzola, the most famous and delicious Italian blue cheese, is undoubtedly the best. If you’re looking for the best Italian cheese appetizer, Gorgonzola will be there. Or, someone will bring this particular type of Italian cheese to make a shared appetizer.
Gorgonzola is known for its strong pungent flavor and distinctive smell. It has a creamy texture that becomes firmer when stored in the refrigerator. This savory cheese is made from whole milk, with the addition of specific bacteria that will help to preserve the flavor and mold.
Both sweet and spicy Gorgonzola are available. The difference is in the aging process. The spicy version takes longer to age than the sweet. Gorgonzola can be used as an appetizer, in different pasta dishes, gnocchi sauce and also for risottos, dips and blue cheese soup.
You may have heard of the four cheese sauce, which is delicious when served with gnocchi. This sauce is made from Gorgonzola and Emmental cheeses, Taleggio cheeses, and grated Parmesan with milk/fresh cream. Gorgonzola is a delight for anyone who loves cheese or just wants to enjoy great quality products.
7. Fiore Sardo
Fiore Sardo, another type of Italian sharp cheese that we should mention, is also important. It’s an Italian hard cheese from the island of Sardinia. We, Italians, love to take it home after our summer vacations in Sardinia.
Fiore Sardo uses sheep milk, mostly from the Sardinian breeds. It is still prepared by shepherds using a wood fire, which gives it a light smoke. The Fiore Sardo is a very intense smell, and the cheese itself is amazing!
The three-phase process of maturing and aging this Italian cheese takes place over 105 days. Fiore Sardo’s rind is hard, smooth, wrinkled, and greasy. Als is the dough. The inside of the cheese tends to crumble. Fiore Sardo can be enjoyed at the end or as a second course.
8. Asiago Fresco
Asiago is very similar to the Romanian Cas cheese but it’s made from a different milk. This cheese is made from cow’s milk, and it’s a kind of cheese that has not been matured. Asiago Fresco is the name of this cheese, as it’s soft and fresh. Asiago can become crumbly with age.
Asiago originates from the Italian alpine region, but the Asiago plateau is part of the Trentino- Alto Adige region. This cheese is much more popular in the north. This cheese, the fresh version, is excellent for Aperitivos, wines, as well as salads. Asiago is very popular in Emilia Romagna. That’s why I’m writing this article.
9. Scamorza Affumicata
Scamorza is a popular Italian cheese. This cheese is made from cow’s milk in southern Italy. Scamorza is made from stretched-curd cheese. It’s usually formed into two circular shapes and strung at the 1/3. This creates a larger and smaller ball. The Scamorza is a kind of snowman because it’s made from stretched-curd cheese.
Unsmoked Scamorza can be white or smoked. We prefer the smoked. It’s delicious in Frittatas, sandwiches, and salty tarts. You can use Scamorza in many dishes. It’s great as a side dish or aperitif, and the unsmoked version is a great substitute for Mozzarella.
Burrata, an Italian cheese made from cow milk, is sometimes made with buffalo milk. It is essentially made of mozzarella and cream. Burrata’s outer shell is made from solid cheese with the same texture as mozzarella. It contains cream and stracciatella, giving it a unique and soft texture.
Burrata is a common product from Murgia, Puglia (Apulia). This cheese is not from Roman times. It dates back to the 1900s, to the Bianchini brothers. It was made available to more cheese factories after the 1950s and has been in existence ever since.
Burrata is an artisanal cheese that has retained its status as a premium product. The process of making Burrata is also fascinating. First, the still-hot cheese goes into a pouch. Next, the pouch is filled with leftover mozzarella. Finally, the pouch is topped with fresh cream.
This is then wrapped in asphodel leaves and tied with a brioche-like knot. The Burrata now has a rich, buttery flavor. It can be used in salads, as a starter, or on pizza.
11. Puzzone di Moena
Emilia Romagna loves the Puzzone di Moena. Its name literally means “tasty pressed cheese” and is made from raw cow milk. Puzzone di Miona is produced in Moena, in Val di Fasse, Val di Fiemme, and Valle di Primiero in the region fo Trentino – Alto Adige.
It’s very similar in taste, texture and method of making it. It’s also eaten the same way as the Asiago. Puzzone di Moena, a semi-hard, straw-colored Italian cheese, has a strong, slightly spicy flavor. It is light, but delicious and memorable.
12. Provolone Valpadana
We have another favorite Italian cheese to add to our list. Provolone Valpadana, an Italian hard cheese is actually classified in the middle category. It’s just like the Fontina and the Scamorza. Provolone is a favorite cheese because of its creamy, nutty and tangy flavors.
You can find two versions Provolone Valpadana, an Italian cheese made from cow milk. There are two versions of Provolone Valpadana: one sweet and one spicy. The first one will last for approximately 30 days while the second can be aged up to 16 months.
Provolone can be used in sandwiches, appetizers and Italian cheese boards. Some of these include the quiche and pie as well as meat stuffings. Provolone can be used to make grilled cheese. It melts quickly and is delicious.
The soft Italian cheeses aren’t over yet, so we have to add Mascarpone. This Italian cream cheese is well-known, as it’s the same one that we all know and have tried, if not every few days, Tiramisu.
Mascarpone, a rich and creamy Italian cheese, is made from cow milk cream. It’s thickened with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice. It is then strained and heated to obtain the desired consistency. Although Mascarpone is a popular dessert all over the globe, nothing can beat a good Tiramisu!
Mascarpone can be used in Tiramisu twice, as well as in smoothie cups, cream desserts, and soups. The main purpose of mascarpone is desserts. The delicate flavor pairs well with fresh fruits and chocolate.
Fontina should be on the list of Italian cheeses, mainly because it is a type that can be found in similar varieties all around the globe. The Fontina can be compared to the Gouda or Hungarian Trappista. They are very similar in taste.
Fontina cheese is made from cow milk and has a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This is the Aosta Valley’s symbol cheese. Fontina cheeses are made from whole milk and aged for at least three months.
The Fontina cheese’s aroma and flavor can vary depending on its production period. However, it must always be soft enough to feel elastic. It looks pitted with blobby spots. Fontina can be used first for appetizers and sandwich filling. You can use Fontina for fondue. It melts very quickly, particularly the softer varieties. Fontina can be used to make pasta with truffles and other types of mushrooms.
You’ve come to the right place if you are looking for a creamy, soft, and sweet Italian cheese. Ricotta, an Italian cream cheese, is very popular. It’s used in many different dishes, pastries, and salads. This cheese is crumbly in texture and has a delicate, but rich flavor.
Cottage Cheese is a similar cheese that we can show you how Ricotta works. Different types of milk can be used to make Ricotta. You can make ricotta with different types of milk. There are two versions: one that is baked with dark crust and one that is smoked. Italians use ricotta for pasta filling, gelato, and Sicilian Cannoli Cream among other uses.
Ricotta cheese’s delicate flavor and creamy texture make it a great choice for sweet desserts and sweet dishes. Ricotta can be used in dishes like ravioli with spinach, ricotta, cannelloni fillings, pasta sauces and cakes.
The 10 best Italian cheeses
Let’s wrap up the Italian cheeses list, and move on! We now have two questions after we’ve learned about different Italian cheese varieties and blends. What is your favorite way of using sharp Italian cheese?
Are you a fan of any traditional Italian recipe that uses cheese? There is a cheese for all tastes: Italian hard cheese, Italian cream cheese, soft Italian cheese Italian blue cheese, Italian cheese pizza. There is an Italian cheese that suits everyone’s taste.
Pin it: The 10 Most Popular Italian Cheeses – Types Of Italian Cheese
Original article by Eleonora Rosi. – Republished January 20,22