Provolone cheese is one of the most popular and loved cheeses because of its creamy deliciousness and great melty texture that makes it a versatile cheese to be used in a variety of foods. 

A lot of provolone cheese lovers wonder if there is a standard taste, texture or recipe of provolone type? The answer is no.

As provolone taste and texture depend on the method of preparation and minor alterations in the recipe can make a big difference in the final product. 

For example, some factors that may play a role are:

  • Amount and timing of animal rennet
  • Amount and recombining of kernelling
  • Shape in which the molded cheese is stored or aged
  • Smoking of provolone
  • Duration of maturation 
  • Types of enzymes used in provolone preparation 

Provolone cheese is a whitish, aged, smooth textured milk cheese that is prepared from full-fat cow’s milk. It is also classified as pasta filata cheese that mainly denotes that it is prepared via stretched curd technique.

What are primary provolone types?

Although different brands of provolone cheese tastes different due to factors like duration of maturation and smokiness.

Traditionally, there are 2 main varieties of provolone cheese based of maturation age.

  • Provolone Dolce: this is less mature (or less aged) variety of provolone cheese that is mild in taste. Generally. Provolone dolce are matured for 2-4 months.
  • Provolone Piccante: this is more matured or aged cheese with a sharp taste. Most varieties available today are matured for 4 months to up to 3 years.

Besides duration of aging, other factors such as addition of rennet during cheese preparation also imparts a unique flavor.

For example, calf lipase is used in provolone dolce that gives its mild taste. Whereas goat lipase is used in the preparation of provolone piccante that gives its sharp and pungent taste.

Some manufacturers today use non-animal enzyme, such as this one, that gives a flavor different than the cheese prepared with animal enzymes. 

Are there any regional differences in taste and texture of provolone?

Cheese lovers enjoy tasting and comparing provolone from different parts of the world to see if there are any characteristic regional differences among provolone produced in different parts of the world.

There is a consensus that:

Italian PDO Provolone American & other Non-Italian Provolone 
Sharp taste, strong smellMild & light 
More suitable for cheese plattersMore suited for sandwiches, Stromboli and cooking
Taste varies depending on agingTaste is generally consistent regardless of brands 
Aged for a few months to up to 4 years Average aged for 2 weeks to 2 months

Top 10 Bestselling Provolone you can get exactly “This Instant” on Amazon:

1Manteche by BelGioioso 
$9.75/lb.4.5 out of 5 stars 
2Sargento, Provolone Cheese Slices$6.25/lb.4.7 out of 5 stars
3Auricchio Extra Sharp Provolone$18.95 /lb.4.6 out of 5 stars
4Italian Sharp Provolone $26.99/lb.4.3 out of 5 stars
5Amazon’s Provolone $5.25/ lb4.5 out of 5 stars 
6Organic Valley’s Provolone $16.50/lb.4.7 out of 5 stars
7Applegate Sliced Provolone $6.75/lb.4.3 out of 5 stars 
8Glacier Ridge Farms $40/lb.3.9 out of 5 stars 
9.Tillamook Smoked Provolone$9.99 per lb.4.6 out of 5 stars 
10.Igourmet Provolone Cheese$18.98 / lb4.3 out of 5 stars 
Somehow I find Igourmet’s provolone taste best to me so i’ve added it to the list.


BelGioioso is a renowned name in the provolone cheese industry with a strong legacy of great flavors and amazing aromas. Created from fresh locally obtained milk. There are 4 varieties that varies in flavor and texture. 

This brand has won numerous quality and texture awards in the past 25 years. 

DescriptionThis is a mild provolone cheese that has a unique flavor as it is a flavorful blend of provolone and butter 
TasteTangy taste, never bleached or smoked 
TextureCreamier than average provolone cheese due to butter content 
Price $9.75/lb. available on Amazon
Miscellaneous PropertiesGluten-free High in fat Free from Recombinant bovine growth hormone (RBGH) All natural Crafted in America’s Dairyland (Wisconsin)
Customer ReviewsMost customers applauded its richness and smooth texture 


The American cheese company that is a family-owned and operated business for past 3 generations. it is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the United States that is fairly economical too. 

DescriptionSandwich ready, deli-style cheese – Comes in a zip-loc bag to preserve freshness and offer convenience 
TasteMild smokey flavor, but non-smokey version is also available 
TextureSemi-soft cheese 
Price You can buy one 12oz. pack (with 12 slices) for $2.68 
Miscellaneous PropertiesAffordable & economical cheese, prepared from pasteurized milk 
Customer Reviews Customers complimented the consistency and quality of cheese and how great it melts with salami and other sandwich cheeses 


This provolone cheese is produced and manufactured in Italy but is available worldwide. 

DescriptionThis brand is labelled as the world’s most famous and favorite brand of provolone cheese by the producers 
TasteThis provolone is aged for more than 1 year and is kneaded, stretched, and shaped by hand
TextureThe cheese has sharp smell and buttery texture. 
Price You can order it from Amazon for just $20.95/ lb
Miscellaneous PropertiesClassic taste of Italy that is sold by pound. It can be used in salads or can be diced and used as appetizer. 
Customer Reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars the sharp taste is the most raved about comment in all customer reviews 

Organic Valley

A farmer owned and run establishment in Pennsylvania, USA.

DescriptionPiccante provolone prepared from fresh organic, farm grown cow milk. Prepared from pasteurized milk and vegetarian enzymes 
TasteTastes like traditional Italian provolone cheese 
TextureButtery cheese in texture 
Price $16.50 /lb.
Miscellaneous PropertiesFree from GMO, Hormones and any artificial preservatives/ chemicals 
Customer Reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars ; great cheese that melts beautifully in sandwiches and melts – it is slightly expensive compared to other sliced provolone cheese varieties but is definitely higher in quality and taste profile


This 30-year-old American company pride itself in utilizing humane practices and promises non-GMO products to its customers. A trusted brand name in every household for cheeses and cured meats. 

DescriptionThis cheese is prepared from the Recombinant bovine growth hormone (RBGH) free milk, which means there are no artificial, harmful hormones, chemicals or additives  It is also organic and pasteurized. 
TasteNon-smoked provolone that tastes like classic provolone 
TextureIt is less creamy than average provolone cheese 
Price $6.76/ lb 
Miscellaneous PropertiesIt tastes like home-made provolone cheese that your grandmother would make. It is also gluten-free and no animal enzymes are used for its preparation 

Glacier Ridge Farms

This is another American made provolone cheese that hails from Wisconsin – manufactured by DairyFood USA.

DescriptionGourmet spreadable provolone smoked cheese that is also pasteurized 
TasteUnique smokey flavor as it is provolone mixed with cheddar 
TextureHigh quality great texture that is creamier than most provolone varieties 
Price $40/ lb – available on Amazon in 8oz. packages 
Miscellaneous PropertiesNot a great option for traditional provolone cheese lovers. 
Customer Reviews 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon – most customers on Amazon raved about the flavor and texture of this cheese but found it too pricey. 


This cheese is a product of Tillamook Co-op – that was established in 1909 in America. 

DescriptionThis is a sandwich sliced, deli style provolone cheese variety that is relatively cheap (or budget friendly) – smoked for 6 hours and devoid of any hormones or artificial flavors 
TasteSemi-soft, hickory smoked cheese that is sliced for convenience 
TextureHas the texture of classic cheddar
Price very affordable provolone $9.99 per lb. available from the parent site or all big stores such as Target and Sam’s Club 
Miscellaneous PropertiesIt’s an American made, economical cheese with farm-style thick cut slices. Perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches and cured meats
Customer Reviews4.6 out 5 stars on Sam’s Club. Customers raved about the smokey flavor of the cheese that makes it perfect for hamburgers and sandwiches 


A North American company that is headquartered in Pennsylvania. This company was established in 1997 as an online story that carries a wide range of gourmet foods from around the world.

DescriptionItalian made Piccante provolone cheese that is shipped from Italy in insulated packages to maintain freshness  
TasteSharp taste – aged for 9 months 
TextureSmooth texture – a nice blend between sweet cream and classic crumble 
Price $18.98 / lb – Easily available on Amazon or on the parent website
Miscellaneous PropertiesMore expensive than other available options  Prepared from pasteurized milk  Known for its melting property, perfect for sandwiches, omelets and antipasta platters
Customer Reviews 4.3 out of 5 on Amazon – most customers appreciated the sharp taste of this cheese and how great it compliments with crackers, cheese melts and baked macaroni

There you have it!

Wait a sec, let other people know which brand is the worst (or best) in the comment section below.

Read more: See why I spent 3 weeks preparing this list of over 100+ types of cheeses, and to compare the selling price of them.