Pecorino Romano Vs. Romano

Italy is famous for its cheeses, especially its hard cheese. With so many types and varieties of Italian cheese available, it can sometimes be difficult to understand the differences. In this article, we’ll explore pecorino romano vs. romano cheese so that you can find out all you need to know.

What Is Pecorino Romano?

Pecorino Romano is a hard cheese that comes from Italy. It’s made from pasteurized or unpasteurized sheep’s milk and is aged for five months or more. Today, it is primarily produced in Sardinia but remains popular in places like Central and Southern Italy. As the name suggests, it comes from the pecorino family of cheeses.

The cheese has a hard crumbly texture with a sharp, smokey, salty flavor. It is often used in dishes like cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), a pasta dish famous in Rome.

Pecorino Romano has a pale yellow color with a natural rind that varies in color from brown to dark brown or even black.

You can use this cheese for slicing into salads or grating and sprinkling over pasta, pasta sauces, pesto, and more. It’s primarily used as a seasoning, often used as an alternative to salt in many Italian dishes.

What Is Romano?

Romano cheese is another hard Italian cheese from the parmesan family. It’s made from cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk, giving it a unique taste that creates interesting and delicious flavors.

The texture is brittle and flaky, but it’s also a dense cheese with a distinct crumbliness that makes it an excellent hard cheese for grating.

As with pecorino romano, romano cheese is also aged for a minimum of at least five months.

In terms of appearance, romano has a pale yellow color and a hard rind which can appear light brown to dark brown. It’s most often used for shaving into salads or for grating over pasta dishes and sauces.

Romano cheese has a mild saltiness, but the overall flavor is sharp and tangy.

What’s The Difference Between Pecorino Romano and Romano?

Pecorino RomanoRomano
Pecorino familyParmesan family
Hard cheeseHard cheese
Made from sheep’s milkMade from cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk
Comes from ItalyComes from Italy

The main difference between these two hard kinds of cheese is that pecorino romano is made from sheep’s milk while romano is made from cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk.

In addition to this, and because of this pecorino romano and romano cheese taste different from one another, with slight differences in flavor that can make a big difference in the outcome of your dish.

That being said, the two make good substitutes for one another in lots of situations as they’re more alike than different, at least when it comes to cheese.

  • Type: Both pecorino romano and romano cheese are types of hard cheese.
  • Appearance: You can buy both of these cheeses as wheels or as portions of wheels. They are both commonly sold pre-grated. In all cases, they look similar as they’re both a pale yellow color in appearance.
  • Taste and texture: Pecorino Romano is sharp and salty with a subtle smokiness, whereas romano is sharp tasting but with a more tangy flavor and only a mild saltiness. Both kinds of cheese are hard cheeses, so they’re typically crumbly and flakey.
  • Culinary uses: You can use both pecorino romano and romano cheese for pasta dishes, sauces, salads, and more. Some regional Italian dishes call for one or the other, which is important if you want to create an authentic dish by following the recipe precisely. However, they can be substituted for one another in most situations.


You now know and understand the important differences when comparing pecorino romano vs. romano cheese. They’re both Italian cheeses, both hard cheeses, and they’re both used for the same general purposes and dishes. As they’re both aged for a similar amount of time, it’s what the two cheeses are made from that has the biggest say in why they’re different and why the taste differs.