Provolone is a very famous type of cheese in Italy. You can use this cow’s milk cheese in many different ways and in various recipes. However, when speaking of a provolone cheese substitute, the first name that pops out in most people’s minds is Mozzarella.
Still, what are other options? If you are up to some new flavor of replacement, don’t wait any longer; check out the post below now!
Brief About Provola Cheese
What Is Provola Cheese?
Provolone (meaning “large provola”) belongs to the family of pasta-filata cheese (or stretched-curd cheese) that originated in southern Italy. Unlike other types of cheese, the curds of Provolone or cheese in the pasta-filata family will be stretched and pulled before being formed to the final shape by hand.
You can find Provolone produced by other countries in the world, yet for the best provolone cheese, seek for Provolone del Monaco and Provolone Valpadana – both of them are accorded the DOP designation by the European Union to make sure the cheese is made with specific methods under strict supervision for the highest quality.
What are Provolone cheese ingredients? The only ingredient needed for making this cheese is pasteurized cow’s milk. There are variations of Provolone cheese, yet the two most well-known types are Provolone Piccante and Provolone Dolce.
Note: Apart from being high in protein and calcium, this cheese also has a high sodium amount, so you should be careful while eating.
How Is Provolone Cheese Made
Fresh milk after arriving will be put into a giant pot and heat. Then, the cheesemaker will add rennet to form the curds and heat the mixture at 37 or 39oC.
When the curds have formed, they will be broken up, drained, and cooked for 5 to 8 hours at 48 or 52oC. Next, the cheesemaker will cut the curds into blocks in different sizes depending on the finished product.
Stretching is the next step of the process. It is the key stage to ensure the finished Provolone achieves an ideal springy texture, yet a not rubbery one. After being shaped by hand, the cheese will be let cool down and then douche in light-salted water.
The expert cheesemakers will tie each product by hand to make sure that they are secure enough to be hung. Before hanging for aging, the cheeses are slightly dipped in a bath of wax to prevent bad molds.
What Does Provolone Cheese Taste Like?
Young Provolone (less than three or four months old) has a mild nutty flavor and melts well, making it a perfect cheese for snacking.
However, aged Provolone provides a funky, spicy, and bold taste that may tingle your tongue a little bit.
Provolone Cheese Substitute – 7 Excellent Cheeses Used As A Substitute For Provolone Cheese
Looking for cheese similar to Provolone, especially the one that can be provolone cheese replacement? They are all below. Let’s find out these cheese substitutes:
1. Cheddar Cheese
Provolone vs Cheddar? Can they be used as a replacement for each other? Yes, they can!
Cheddar cheese is a common type of cheese known for its affordability and availability. You can easily find it in any store or supermarket worldwide and use it in place of Mozzarella, Provolone, Adam, etc.
Although the cheese is not as elastic as Provolone, its similar sharp taste can still add a note to the dish.
2. Edam Cheese
Another provolone cheese substitute on the list today is Edam cheese. This semi-soft type of cheese is very famous for its distinctive red wax coating.
Edam cheese is a great choice for replacing young provolone cheese with its well-melted and easy-to-slice characteristic in many cheese-based dishes.
3. Fontina Cheese
In 2016, Fontina cheese was on the list of the best cheeses in the world reported by the Wall Street Journal. Fontina has a semi-soft texture and a nutty yet sweet flavor.
This cheese is a great substitute for provolone cheese in several recipes, even with shredded Provolone, as the taste is quite similar. Its buttery texture will also provide a creamy-like feeling when eating, giving the dish even a better taste somehow.
4. Gouda Cheese
Gouda vs Provolone? Many said they are not an alternative for the other one. However, yes, they are. Let us tell you why.
This semi-soft cow’s cheese can melt well, and it can be used in any cheese-based recipes or just straightforwardly added to sandwiches or cheese boards. Its mild flavor and pale color are just like Provolone, so it is why it can be a replacement for Provolone in whatever dishes.
Note: Gouda gets sweeter as time ages, so it would be better if you can check its age before using it to avoid your dish being too sweet.
5. Low-Moisture Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is one of the best-loved types of cheese all over the world due to its distinctive texture. Mozzarella may have a quite similar texture to Provolone as they are all carefully stretched by hand before being hung to age.
Although fresh Mozzarella is the most popular form of this cheese, low-moisture Mozzarella is the one that you should look for when you want to find a provolone alternative.
As the moisture lessens, low-moisture Mozzarella will be saltier and have a longer lifespan. Even though the taste is still milder than Provolone, it is a fine replacement for Provolone in several dishes with the same quantity.
6. Muenster Cheese
Provolone is a good substitute for Muenster cheese and vice versa.
Muenster is the American version of the Munster – traditional French cheese. Different from the French soft cheese version, the American version is more of a semi-soft one, which is a good option for using it in place of Provolone.
Since Muenster is low in fat content, you should mix it with low-moisture Mozzarella to achieve the best provolone quality-like.
7. Parmesan Cheese
The last choice of provolone substitution is parmesan cheese. Why? Actually, Parmesan is not really close to Provolone since it has a distinct salty flavor with a crumbly hard texture.
Even though it can go well with most dishes, using it as a provolone alternative should only happen when you want cheese for seasoning or grating on your dish.
Provolone Vs. Mozzarella – Difference Between Provolone And Mozzarella
Mozzarella vs Provolone, what are the differences? The information you need is just right below.
Both kinds of cheese are made from milk freshly delivered from the farm every day. Still, the ingredient mainly used to make provolone cheese is cow’s milk, while the ingredient for making Mozzarella is buffalo’s milk.
Mozzarella has quite a limited shelf life. An unopened pack of Mozzarella can last for a week, yet once you have opened the bag, the cheese should be finished up right away as it can dry out and lose its taste. If you store it in plastic wrap or bag, your cheese can stay fresh for 2 – 3 days no more.
On the other hand, an unopened shred of Provolone can stay good even though it passed the expiration day a week ago. If you have opened it, its freshness can still remain after a week. With frozen Provolone, you can store it for up to 8 months, and its best quality can be the same as the fresh one.
Texture And Melting
Mozzarella has a soft texture as it is mainly used fresh. This cheese can melt easily with a soft texture, making it fit perfectly for grilled food and pizza.
Meanwhile, Provolone has a semi-hard texture, so it will take more time to melt this cheese than Mozzarella. People often use Provolone cheese in pasta and sandwiches more.
For every 100 grams of Provolone Cheese, it will contain:
- Protein 26g
- Calories: 352.
- Cholesterol: 69 mg
- Carbs 2.1g
- Fat: 27 g
- Sodium 876 mg
- Cobalamin 25%
- Potassium 138 mg
- Calcium 75%
- Vitamin A of 17%.
As for Mozzarella Cheese, 100g of it contains:
- Protein 28g
- Calories: 280.
- Cholesterol: 54 mg
- Carbs 3.1g
- Fat: 17 g
- Sodium 16 mg
- Cobalamin 14%
- Potassium 95 mg
- Calcium 73%
- Vitamin A of 10%.
If you are looking for healthy food with fewer calories, less fat, and cholesterol, Mozzarella is a greater option for you. It is also high in protein, which will benefit your muscle development a lot.
In comparison, Provolone may not be as healthy as Mozzarella since it is high in fat and sodium. Still, it also has a high amount of Vitamin A, cobalamin, and calcium to compensate. If you consume it moderately, it will not affect your health much.
Is Provolone An Aged Cheese?
Yes, it is. Provolone can be aged at least three months to many years. The longer the cheese ages, the sharper the taste is.
Is Provolone A Hard Cheese?
As mentioned above, Provolone is a semi-hard cheese with different tastes, varying from mild to sharp depending on its age.
Is Provolone Cheese Vegetarian?
Actually, no. As making this cheese includes calf rennet, Provolone is not a vegetarian-friendly type of cheese.
Does Provolone Cheese Melt Well?
It does melt but not melt well. Due to the semi-hard texture of the cheese, it will take a little bit more time to melt completely.
All in all, we hope that after reading our post about provolone cheese substitute, you have already had the one in your mind that you will use as an alternative to the cheese. Most of the substitutes are very easy to be purchased at a store or a supermarket, so you don’t have to worry that there will be none suitable for you. Pick out one and try it in your recipe.
Best luck with your choice. Thank you for reading!