Uncooked, dry-cured prosciutto is frequently consumed on its own or with delectable wine and cheese. A variety of cheeses pair superbly with prosciutto and enhance the savory, salty flavor of the ham. What cheeses pair best with prosciutto, then? The best cheeses to eat with prosciutto are flavorful, creamy, and strong enough to compete with the prosciutto’s flavor. Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone, Asiago, and Buffalo Mozzarella are a few of the well-liked options. Continue reading to learn more about prosciutto, how it tastes, and our picks for the best cheeses to serve it with.
What Is Prosciutto?
In the United States, dry-cured, uncooked ham is known as prosciutto. It is called “prosciutto crudo” in Italy, while “prosciutto cotto” refers to a ham that has been baked. Bacon is prepared from the pig’s hind leg by first cleaning the meat, then heavily salting it, and finally curing it in a dry, cool environment for a number of weeks. Prosciutto ranges in color from pink to a brownish red, and it has a flavorful, subtle sweetness and saltiness.
Prosciutto has a distinct, fragrant flavor thanks to the fat streaks that run through each slice and the herbs and spices that are used to season some varieties. The longer the meat is cured, the more complex and robust the flavor will be.
Prosciutto is best enjoyed by slicing it extremely thinly and letting each piece melt in your mouth. Fat’s velvety smoothness will coat your tongue as you savor the meat’s sweet and salty leaner cuts. You can eat prosciutto on its own or with other foods like fruit and vegetables, bread and wine, and cheese.
Best Cheeses With Prosciutto
The smooth, meaty flavor of prosciutto may easily overpower weaker cheeses. As a result, aim for strong-flavored cheeses that can stand up to the cured meat. Cheeses with a sharp, salty, or nutty flavor are typically excellent selections. Most crumbly, hard, and soft cheeses match well with tender prosciutto in terms of texture. Here are some great cheeses to go with prosciutto!
1. Parmigiano Reggiano
Parmesan, often known as Parmigiano Reggiano, is an Italian cheese manufactured from cow’s milk. It comes from Parma and Reggio Emilia in Italy and is hard and granular with a powerful, savory flavor. It is frequently referred to as the “king of cheeses.” Both prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano are Italian products that are aged to perfection using only salt. Both components’ strong flavors make them an ideal combination for making mouthwatering meat and cheese platters.
Parmesan pairs well with a range of foods because of its nutty, fruity, and salty flavor. One of the greatest cheeses to pair with prosciutto is this one. In actuality, the most widely consumed variety of prosciutto in Italy is prosciutto di Parma.
2. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano, like parmesan, is a hard cheese with a natural sweetness and saltiness. It is prepared from sheep’s milk and has a stronger flavor with buttery undertones. Pecorino Romano has a gritty texture and a slightly green and earthy flavor that pairs well with prosciutto. In Tuscany and other parts of Central Italy, it is a favorite grating cheese for pizzas and is served with deli meats. You can serve it with a good green salad or some steamed veggies on the side, as well as freshly baked bread.
Italian cheese known as Provolone is a semi-hard cheese created from pasteurized cow’s milk. It is a favorite for pairing with meats like salami and prosciutto due to its wonderful scent and nuanced flavor profile. It has a silky, delicate texture that delightfully contrasts with the prosciutto’s sweet and savory flavor. Provolone pairs well with prosciutto, so go for the more mature versions because they have a stronger flavor. Provolone is frequently smoked, which gives the combination a new flavor dimension. It also melts exceptionally easily, making it a wonderful choice for prosciutto paninis.
Asiago is an Italian cheese that can have a variety of textures, colors, and flavor profiles depending on how it is aged and made. Asiago pressato and asiago d’allevo are two of the most popular forms of asiago, with flavors ranging from mild and sweet to nutty, sharp, and acidic. Asiago pressato is smooth and creamy, with a semi-soft texture. It has a mild, sweet flavor and is perforated with big pores.
Asiago d’allevo is aged asiago made out of three different types of cheese at various stages of maturation: asiago mezzano, asiago vecchio, and asiago stravecchio. Asiago cheese has a sweet, nutty flavor that complements prosciutto well. The older varieties, such as asiago vecchio and asiago stravecchio, are tougher and nuttier than the sweeter asiago mezzano.
5. Buffalo Mozzarella
When combined with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, or mozzarella di bufala in Italian, which is supple and incredibly creamy, counteracts the salty of the meat. Buffalo mozzarella is prepared with the milk of water buffaloes and is richer, creamier, and tastier than ordinary mozzarella, which is a mainstay in Italian cuisine. Prosciutto’s soft, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth texture combines with buffalo mozzarella’s mild, sweet, and creamy flavors to create a timeless pairing that is impossible to go wrong with.
Buffalo mozzarella is more expensive but well worth every penny because it is one of the hardest to get cheeses on planet. However, you may also enjoy your prosciutto with normal mozzarella, which is still a fantastic alternative even though it is less creamy, if you want to spend less money.
Whether you enjoy a classic ham-and-cheese sandwich or mix some parmesan with mouthwatering prosciutto, meat and cheese are a combination made in heaven. With over 1,800 different types of cheese to select from, choose which ones to pair with your prosciutto might be challenging. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top options. However, these are not the only alternatives! Swiss cheese, feta, halloumi, and even blue cheeses like Italian gorgonzola are options. Depending on the type of cheese, you can simply arrange slices of meat and cheese on a dish, or crumble, spread, or melt the cheese on top of the meat.