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 smell||Mild & light|
|More suitable for cheese platters||More suited for sandwiches, Stromboli and cooking|
|Taste varies depending on aging||Taste 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:
|1||Manteche by BelGioioso ||$9.75/lb.||4.5 out of 5 stars |
|2||Sargento, Provolone Cheese Slices||$6.25/lb.||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|3||Auricchio Extra Sharp Provolone||$18.95 /lb.||4.6 out of 5 stars|
|4||Italian Sharp Provolone||$26.99/lb.||4.3 out of 5 stars|
|5||Amazon’s Provolone||$5.25/ lb||4.5 out of 5 stars |
|6||Organic Valley’s Provolone||$16.50/lb.||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|7||Applegate Sliced Provolone||$6.75/lb.||4.3 out of 5 stars|
|8||Glacier 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 / lb||4.3 out of 5 stars|
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.
|Description||This is a mild provolone cheese that has a unique flavor as it is a flavorful blend of provolone and butter |
|Taste||Tangy taste, never bleached or smoked|
|Texture||Creamier than average provolone cheese due to butter content|
|Price||$9.75/lb. available on Amazon|
|Miscellaneous Properties||Gluten-free High in fat Free from Recombinant bovine growth hormone (RBGH) All natural Crafted in America’s Dairyland (Wisconsin)|
|Customer Reviews||Most 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.
|Description||Sandwich ready, deli-style cheese – Comes in a zip-loc bag to preserve freshness and offer convenience|
|Taste||Mild smokey flavor, but non-smokey version is also available|
|Price||You can buy one 12oz. pack (with 12 slices) for $2.68|
|Miscellaneous Properties||Affordable & 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.
|Description||This brand is labelled as the world’s most famous and favorite brand of provolone cheese by the producers|
|Taste||This provolone is aged for more than 1 year and is kneaded, stretched, and shaped by hand|
|Texture||The cheese has sharp smell and buttery texture.|
|Price||You can order it from Amazon for just $20.95/ lb|
|Miscellaneous Properties||Classic 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|
A farmer owned and run establishment in Pennsylvania, USA.
|Description||Piccante provolone prepared from fresh organic, farm grown cow milk. Prepared from pasteurized milk and vegetarian enzymes|
|Taste||Tastes like traditional Italian provolone cheese|
|Texture||Buttery cheese in texture|
|Miscellaneous Properties||Free 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.
|Description||This 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.|
|Taste||Non-smoked provolone that tastes like classic provolone|
|Texture||It is less creamy than average provolone cheese|
|Miscellaneous Properties||It 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.
|Description||Gourmet spreadable provolone smoked cheese that is also pasteurized|
|Taste||Unique smokey flavor as it is provolone mixed with cheddar|
|Texture||High quality great texture that is creamier than most provolone varieties|
|Price||$40/ lb – available on Amazon in 8oz. packages|
|Miscellaneous Properties||Not 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.
|Description||This 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|
|Taste||Semi-soft, hickory smoked cheese that is sliced for convenience|
|Texture||Has 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 Properties||It’s an American made, economical cheese with farm-style thick cut slices. Perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches and cured meats|
|Customer Reviews||4.6 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.
|Description||Italian made Piccante provolone cheese that is shipped from Italy in insulated packages to maintain freshness|
|Taste||Sharp taste – aged for 9 months|
|Texture||Smooth texture – a nice blend between sweet cream and classic crumble|
|Price||$18.98 / lb – Easily available on Amazon or on the parent website|
|Miscellaneous Properties||More 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.