How to Store Pecorino Romano Cheese

Pecorino Romano cheese

Pecorino Romano is a hard Italian cheese made with sheep’s milk. It has a flaky, somewhat grainy texture and a salty, nutty, sharp flavor. It’s the perfect cheese for grating on top of most Italian dishes, especially Pasta alla Carbonara, Quattro Formaggi Pizza, and Parmigiana di Melanzane.

Unlike Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesan), which is carried by most retailers like Costco, Walmart, and Kroger, vacuum packed Pecorino Romano wedges are surprisingly hard to find. Whenever I can’t go to the Italian deli in town, I tend to shop for Italian-imported Pecorino Romano at Amazon.

Is Blue Cheese Safe to Eat?

Blue cheeseJez Timms (via Unsplash)

Blue cheese is a moldy cheese made of cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk and aged with cultures of the mold Penicillium, a genus of fungi that are naturally found in nature and generally responsible for food spoilage.

If you’ve ever wondered why blue cheese is safe to eat—yet other moldy foods aren’t— you’re in the right place. I’ve been a fan of blue cheese ever since I tasted my first bite of Roquefort that my dad brought back from a business trip to France as a kid.

From decades of eating blue cheese and much research on the topic of cheeses as a whole, here’s my take on the topic.

Why Is Blue Cheese So Expensive?

Blue cheeseTina Witherspoon (via Unsplash)

Blue cheese is a moldy cheese variety made from cow’s, milk’s, or sheep’s cheese, and aged with cultures of the mold Penicillium. This gives blue cheese its distinct look, taste, and smell. It’s covered with green and blue mold, has a salty, sharp flavor, and a pungent aroma.

Though blue cheese can come in many shapes and forms, most kinds of blue cheese are aged for 1-6 months, have a fat content of 28-34% per 3.5 oz, and a relatively high level of moisture that promotes mold growth.

It’s also one of the most expensive cheese varieties carried by grocery stores. So expensive, that one of the top things home cooks ask about it online is why it costs so much in the first place.

Should You Stop Buying Shredded Cheese?

Shredded cheddar cheese

The shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and grated hard Italian cheeses that they sell in grocery stores can sure be a convenience. Just take the packaged cheese out of the fridge, sprinkle some of it on your chili con carne or penne all’arrabbiata, and your meal is ready to serve.

What not everyone will tell you about shredded cheese is that, whenever you buy and use it, you’re trading off the purity of your food for convenience. 

Here’s exactly how and why.

The Best Pecorino Substitutes for Pasta Carbonara

Pecorino Romano substitutesFudio via Canva.com

Pasta alla Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish made with egg, cured pork, and hard cheese. Traditionally, that hard cheese is Pecorino Romano, a salty and grainy cheese made from sheep’s milk in the surroundings of Rome.

Tradition is tradition and, when you can, I recommend that you respect it. It’s how you can get the most authentic taste of Italy with your home-cooked meals. Yet, sometimes, you simply can’t or don’t want to get a hold of all the ingredients.

If that’s the case for you, what are some good substitutes for Pecorino Romano?