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Cheaper alternative to parmesan cheese?

What cheese tastes most similar to Parmesan Cheese? Note: I am not looking for a fake-cheese substitute, just a real cheese that tastes similar to Parmesan.


2 Answers 2


Romano cheese is nearly identical to Parmesan, as in you almost certainly will not tell the difference between the two, either in texture or in taste. You could probably also get away with an Asiago. While it has a different flavor and melting properties, it does share a similar nuttiness with Parmesan.


Parmesan is a non-protected name for Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the quality of Parmesan cheeses varies widely.

Good Parmigiano-Reggiano is at least $15/lb, so I assume you're looking for cheaper cheeses.

The first next-closest would be Grana Padano. However, good Grana Padano is also fairly expensive.

After that, your next best is probably Sean Hart's suggestion of Pecorino Romano. I wouldn't describe them as "nearly identical", though. But all three are good cheeses, and you can often substitute one for the other.

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