While testing out a new recipe I realized that I’ve never quite paid attention to the type of Italian cheese I’ve been using in the kitchen. After a little research I’ve learned a few things that I’d love to share with you.

Three popular hard Italian cheeses: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano & Pecorino Romano. The three main differentiating factors: the milk source, where they’re made & the aging period.

Image of fresh parmesan
For high quality cheeses look for the full name stamped on the rind.


  • Made in 5 northern Italian provinces, from fresh cow’s milk & aged for at least a year.
  • Has a sharp & nutty flavor with a granular texture.
  • The perfect finishing touch for pasta & meatballs or shredded over salads. Also delicious as a snack or appetizer in chunks on its own.

Grana Padano.

  • Aged at least 9 months & made from fresh cow’s milk.
  • Milder & slightly sweeter than Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Subtle flavor that compliments ricotta in lasagna layers or ravioli filling.

Pecorino Romano.

  • Made from a tangy sheep’s milk & aged for 5-12 months in central Italy.
  • A stronger & saltier cheese.
  • Traditionally used in cacio e pepe, also recommended to add to sauces that are more sweet, like bolognese.

Bon Appétit!

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