5 Best Cheeses With Prosciutto
Prosciutto is uncooked, dry-cured ham often enjoyed on its own or paired with some delicious wine and cheese. There are several types of cheeses that taste incredible with prosciutto and complement the ham’s salty and savory taste.
So, what are the best cheeses with prosciutto? The best cheese pairings with prosciutto are flavorful, creamy, and bold enough to stand up to the flavor of the prosciutto. Some popular choices include Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone, Asiago, and Buffalo Mozzarella.
Read on to find out more about prosciutto, what it tastes like, and our top picks of the best cheeses to pair with it!
What Is Prosciutto?
The word prosciutto is used to describe uncooked, dry-cured ham in the United States.
In Italy, it is referred to as prosciutto crudo, while baked ham is called prosciutto cotto.
Made from the hind leg of the pig, the meat is cleaned, heavily salted, and left in a cool and dry environment for several weeks to cure.
Prosciutto has a salmon-pink to brownish-red color and is flavorful and delicately sweet and salty.
Each slice is streaked with fat and some varieties of prosciutto are seasoned with herbs and spices which give them a unique, fragrant flavor. Also, the longer the meat is cured, the more complex and pronounced it tastes.
The best way to eat prosciutto is to cut it into paper-thin slices and let it melt in your mouth. The creamy texture of the fat will coat your tongue as you enjoy the leaner parts of the meat that have a sweet and salty flavor.
Prosciutto can be enjoyed on its own or paired with fruit, vegetables, bread, wine, and of course, cheese!
Best Cheeses With Prosciutto
Prosciutto has a smooth, rich flavor that can easily overpower milder cheeses. Therefore, it is best to go for strong-flavored cheeses that can stand up to the cured meat.
Cheeses with a sharp, salty, or nutty flavor are usually good choices. Texture-wise, most crumbly, hard and soft cheeses tend to pair well with tender prosciutto.
Here are some of the best cheeses to pair with prosciutto!
1. Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmigiano Reggiano, or Parmesan, is a type of Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. Often called the “king of cheeses”, it originates from Parma and Reggio Emilia in Italy and is hard and granular with a strong, savory flavor.
Both Parmigiano Reggiano and prosciutto come from Italy and are aged to perfection using only salt. The pungent flavors of both ingredients make them a perfect pairing for creating delicious meat and cheese platters.
The taste of parmesan can be described as nutty, fruity, and salty which goes well with a variety of dishes. It is one of the best cheeses to enjoy with prosciutto. In fact, Prosciutto di Parma is the most popular type of prosciutto in Italy.
2. Pecorino Romano
Like parmesan, Pecorino Romano is another type of hard cheese with a hint of natural sweetness and saltiness. It is made from sheep’s milk and is more pungent with buttery notes.
Pecorino Romano has a gritty texture and a slightly grassy and earthy flavor to it, making it a delicious pairing with prosciutto.
It is a popular grating cheese for pizzas and is served with deli meats in Tuscany and other parts of Central Italy.
When serving it with prosciutto, you can also add a nice green salad or some steamed vegetables and freshly baked bread on the side.
Provolone is a semi-hard Italian cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Due to its complex flavor profile and beautiful aroma, it is a favorite when it comes to pairing with meats such as salami and prosciutto.
It has a smooth, delicate texture that contrasts beautifully with the sweet and salty flavor of the prosciutto. When looking for provolone to pair with prosciutto, look for the more mature varieties as they have a more intense flavor.
Provolone is often smoked, which adds a new layer of flavor to the pairing, and since it melts really well, it is also a great choice for prosciutto panini.
Asiago is an Italian cheese that can assume different textures, colors, and flavor profiles depending on its aging process and how it is produced.
Asiago pressato and asiago d’allevo are two of the main types of asiago that range from mild and sweet to nutty, sharp, and tangy.
Asiago pressato has a semi-soft texture and is smooth and creamy. It is perforated with large holes and has a mild, sweet flavor.
Asiago d’allevo is aged asiago and consists of three different types of cheeses at a different level of the aging process: asiago mezzano, asiago vecchio, and asiago stravecchio.
Asiago cheeses have a sweet, nutty flavor that pairs great with prosciutto. The more aged variety, which include asiago vecchio and asiago stravecchio, are harder and nuttier compared to asiago mezzano’s sweeter flavor.
5. Buffalo Mozzarella
Buffalo mozzarella, or mozzarella di bufala in Italian, is soft and super creamy, and perfect with prosciutto as it balances out the meat’s saltiness.
Compared to regular mozzarella, which is a staple in Italian cuisine, buffalo mozzarella is made with the milk of water buffaloes and is richer, creamier, and more delicious!
The soft, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth texture of prosciutto blends with the mild, sweet, and creamy flavors of the buffalo mozzarella and make a classic combination that you simply cannot go wrong with.
Dubbed as one of the most elusive cheeses on earth, buffalo mozzarella is a lot pricier, but well worth every buck.
If, however, you wish to not spend as much, you can also enjoy your prosciutto with regular mozzarella which, although not as creamy, is still a great option!
Cheese Chart Breakdown
Here is a summary of the best cheeses with prosciutto and what they taste like:
|Parmigiano Reggiano||Nutty, fruity, and salty with a hard and granular texture|
|Pecorino Romano||Slightly grassy and earthy flavor with buttery notes and a gritty texture|
|Provolone||Intense flavor with a smooth, delicate texture|
|Asiago||Ranges from mild and sweet to nutty, sharp, and tangy|
|Buffalo Mozzarella||Mild, sweet, and creamy|
Meat and cheese are a match made in heaven, whether you enjoy a classic ham-and-cheese sandwich or pair some parmesan with mouth-watering prosciutto.
With over 1,800 different types of cheeses, it can be very difficult to choose the best ones to pair with your prosciutto. To make it easier for you, we’ve listed some of the best choices.
These aren’t the only options though! You can try Swiss cheese, feta, halloumi, and even blue cheese such as Italian gorgonzola.
Depending on the type of cheese you choose, you can simply place slices of the meat and cheese on a plate, or you can crumble, spread, or melt the cheese on top of the meat.