Difference Between Pecorino and Parmesan

Pecorino vs Parmesan

Pecorino and Parmesan are two different Italian cheese varieties that have been used in various recipes, in Italy since ancient times. Many people remain confused between these two cheeses because of their similarities. However, despite looking similar, Pecorino and Parmesan have many differences in taste and aroma that make them suitable for different recipes. This article attempts to find out the differences between Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses.


Italian foods are known by the region from where they come. This is because of the differences in flavors that get incorporated in these food items that are characteristic of the region where these products are made in. Pecorino is a hard, salty cheese that is made from sheep milk. It appears hard when touched as it has been aged for around 8 months. It derives its name from the Italian word Pecora that stands for sheep. This cheese is made in many places in Italy, especially in and around Rome and the region of Tuscany. Pecorino is whitish in color and is used for grating over many food items, to add to their flavor and aroma. Other regional variations are known as Pecorino Sardo and Picorino Siciliano. Of all the varieties of Pecorino, it is Pecorino Romano that is most popular in US.


Also known as Parmigiano Reggiano in English, Parmesan is a hard cheese made from raw cowmilk and aged for about 18 months. This is a cheese that hails from northern Italy, especially the northern parts of Tuscany. It is made into 80 pounds wheels. This cheese is made of milk obtained from cows that are only grass fed or given hay. The only thing that is added to the cheese is salt. After aging for 18 to 24 months, parmesan cheese has a nutty taste and a gritty texture.

Pecorino vs. Parmesan

• Pecorino is made from sheep milk while Parmesan is made from raw cowmilk.

• Parmesan has a nutty and fruity taste after aging for nearly 2 years. On the other hand, Pecorino is a salty cheese that is hard after months of aging.

• Pecorino is softer than Parmesan which is grainy in texture.

• Pecorino is also light in color than Parmesan.

• Pecorino has a less strong flavor than Parmesan.