Take a stroll through any grocery store and you’ll undoubtedly come across an extensive cheese collection at some point or another. Nowadays, there are so many delicious varieties of cheeses out there it can be hard to keep track of them all.
You’ve got gouda, cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, halloumi, pepper jack, and the list just goes on and on. But today, we’re focusing on provolone.
Provolone is a common cheese you’ll find on offer, and it’s a great addition to many meals. It’s a semi-soft cheese that has a mild and somewhat tangy flavor.
You’ll find that it’s not quite as sharp or pungent as many of the other varieties on offer, which makes it a popular choice amongst those looking for a cheese addition that won’t completely overpower the dish that you’re making.
In terms of its actual taste and flavor, it can vary somewhat from brand to brand since there are a few different kinds of milk that can be used in its production process.
The amount of time the cheese is aged can also impact its overall taste. Ready to learn more about this scrumptious cheese? Then keep on reading!
What Is Provolone Cheese?
Provolone is a kind of cheese that originates from Italy but can now be easily accessed from across the globe. Typically, it is made with whole or skimmed cow’s milk, though this can vary, and is semi-soft and semi-hard.
The milk is coagulated with rennet and then the curds are pressed into blocks before they are aged and then ready to hit the shelves and become a delicious addition to your dinner-time meal.
Traditionally, you could expect provolone to be aged in the likes of natural caves and cellars which have been heated. This is because it allows the cheese to become dryer as it removes the moisture from within the block.
This then creates a kind of mold that forms on the outer surface of the cheese. As we mentioned above, it is usually made with cow’s milk, but sometimes you’ll also find varieties that opt for sheep’s milk instead.
In terms of its texture, it’s pretty similar to cheddar and is often incorporated into meals in a very similar fashion to this cheese too.
For example, it’s a great addition to a pasta dish since it doesn’t have an overwhelmingly powerful flavor. It also goes great on sandwiches too.
What Other Cheese Varieties Are Similar To Provolone?
There are quite a few different cheeses that are comparable to provolone. Swiss cheese and parmesan are perfect examples since they are both semi-hard cheeses too. It’s also pretty similar to the likes of Emmentaler, Gouda, and Fontina.
The closest option though, is most likely, cheddar, after all, many people often confuse the two. Surprisingly, though, the two actually have a fair amount of differences.
For example, provolone tends to be off-white to light brown in color since it contains less moisture than the aforementioned cheese, while cheddar tends to be white, yellow, or in some instances an orange hue.
Is Provolone A Healthy Cheese Choice?
As far as cheese goes, yes, provolone is a relatively healthy option. This is because it is packed full of both phosphorus and calcium. Not only this but it also contains a whole lot of amino acids which are essential for protein production.
Another great quality of provolone is that it is lactose and casein-free, meaning that those with lactose intolerances or other related allergies can still enjoy it.
Compared to other cheeses on the market, it is also relatively lower in fat content. So not only is it packed full of the good stuff, it is devoid of a lot of the unhealthier components of cheese too.
What Does Provolone Taste Like?
Provolone is a relatively mild cheese that still has a slightly rich and salty quality to it. It could be described as slightly sharp, but it is not overwhelmingly so, and definitely could not be described as a strong cheese.
The actual overall taste will also depend on the age of the cheese itself. As a general rule of thumb, the younger it is, the milder its flavor.
As it is aged for longer, it brings a slightly more intense flavor to the mix and you may even notice additional tones that are earthy and nutty. The taste can also change depending on the milk that is used.
When homemade or produced in smaller commercial batches, it is typically made using cow’s milk, but most larger commercial batches will be made using either sheep’s milk or a combination of both sheep’s milk and goat’s milk.
Does Provolone Melt Well?
Absolutely. If you’re looking for an ooey, gooey, creamy melted cheese, then you can’t pick a better variety than provolone.
And since it has a lower salt content than the likes of Swiss and cheddar, it makes the perfect addition to most meals without disturbing the flavor.
Provolone is great for a stringy melted cheese over a pasta dish, goes perfectly on pizza, and works amazingly well on a grilled cheese too.
How To Cook And Use Provolone Cheese?
Provolone works great as a standalone snack but also makes a great addition to pretty much any meal when you’re looking to add just a little extra texture and flavor.
You can try adding thin slices of the stuff on top of your favorite omelet, it can be added to pizzas to give you that creamy stringy cheese pull, it can be used in place of ricotta cheese in a lasagne, and can be added to a variety of tasty sandwiches.
Just keep in mind, though it has a lower salt content than many other kinds of cheese out there, it does still have a somewhat salty taste to it.
Because of this, we’d always recommend adding a sweet component to the meal to balance it out. The addition of fruit or vegetables always works well to combat the salty flavor.
Provolone Nutrition Facts
So, let’s take a look at the nutritional information for this delicious cheese. It looks a little something like this for one ounce of the stuff.
- Calories – 80.1
- Fat – 5.99 g
- Sodium – 210 mg
- Carbohydrates – 1 g
- Fiber – 0 g
- Sugars – 0 g
- Protein – 7 g
As you can see, this type of cheese is incredibly low in carbohydrates. And this singular carb comes from the pasteurized milk used to create it.
However, it is important to always check the carb content for each particular brand of provolone cheese since different brands often vary the amount and type of milk used.
As a result, this can affect the value of carbs contained in the cheese. So, if you’re sticking to a low-carb diet, you’ll want to double-check these values.
The total lipid fats in provolone cheese comes in at around 6% (just under) and that equates to around 9% of your recommended daily amount of fats.
However, it’s worth noting that 3.5 grams of that are saturated fatty acids making up 17% of your recommended daily allowance. Again, this can vary from brand to brand so you’ll need to refer to the packaging for accurate values.
Most milk products are a great source of protein, and this type of cheese is no exception. In one ounce of this cheese, you can expect around 7 grams of whey protein.
This is great because whey protein contains a whole host of essential amino acids that can help build and repair your muscles.
Vitamins & Minerals
Provolone is also filled with 200 mg of calcium per one ounce serving as well as tons of Vitamin A. So tucking into this delicious cheese can help to keep your body healthy and strong.
However, it is important to eat it in moderation because it does also contain 210 mg of sodium along with 15 mg of cholesterol.
Provolone is a fine, mild, semi-hard, cheese that has just the right balance of sharpness and flavor that is noticeable without being overpowering. It’s a versatile option that can work well with pretty much most meals, so it’s always a great option to keep in your refrigerator.
So, if you haven’t had the chance to try this wonderful cheese for yourself, grab your keys and your coat and get yourself to your local grocery store now!