There’s undoubtedly nothing better than gooey melted cheese, whether it be in a grilled sandwich, on a pizza, or even in an omelet.
But some cheeses are more up to the task than others!
So, how about provolone, is it a good melting cheese?
Does it have the right texture to melt properly?
Is the moisture content a deciding factor?
What alternatives are there if provolone is not giving you the desired results?
And if you are unsure exactly what provolone is and where it comes from, I will give you a brief overview.
Let’s explore the meltiness of provolone!
Provolone is a good melting cheese as it has properties similar to mozzarella. It is a semi-hard, stretched curd cheese. Provolone has a creamy texture and slices easily, making it ideal for grilled sandwiches. It is a popular option for topping a Philly cheesesteak or a pizza. However, provolone does have quite a mild flavor, which may not add enough cheese taste to a dish. The best option would be to use provolone piccante, which has a sharper flavor, but as it is made with the addition of an enzyme derived from goats, it is not suitable for vegetarians.
What Makes Provolone a Good Melting Cheese?
So, you can guess by the heading of this section that I am of the opinion that provolone is a good melting cheese!
Let’s find out why.
When it comes to melting, the texture of the cheese is important.
And it needs to slice or shred easily.
Provolone fits the bill on both these tasks as it is a semi-hard cheese.
Made in Italy, it has a similar texture to mozzarella but is not quite as soft.
Traditionally, provolone is a hand-stretched curd cheese made into a variety of weird and wonderful designs!
It keeps its shape, so it is easy to slice, doesn’t crumble, and is ready to slide into your grilled cheese sandwich!
Now, let’s look at the moisture content of provolone, which on average, is 45%.
This gives it a lower moisture level than mozzarella but doesn’t put it in the category of a harder cheese such as Parmesan.
This is another factor that contributes to its melting ability.
Although provolone melts easily, some might say it is too bland to impart any flavor to the dish.
But I can certainly detect the nutty note that it is famed for.
Admittedly, it’s quite subtle, so you may wish to try provolone piccante, which is much sharper.
The one thing you need to be aware of is that the piccante option is made with the use of animal enzymes, goat, in particular.
So, obviously, not suitable for vegetarians.
What Dishes Are Perfect for Provolone?
Because provolone melts in a lovely, stretchy, gooey way without an overpowering flavor, it is perfect for many dishes.
Here are some of my favorites!
Top of the list has to be grilled cheese sandwiches but cook these for longer than you normally would if using mozzarella, as provolone is slower to melt.
For an extra cheese hit, up your game by adding parmesan too!
Now, when it comes to melting cheese, we all think of pizza, and provolone certainly works here.
Replace the mozzarella with provolone, and why not add some porcini mushrooms for an extra earthy, nutty taste?
Finally, I can recommend provolone in an omelet, it is a worthy substitute for traditional Cheddar.
For this, you need to shred the cheese, and for a delicious alternative breakfast, try adding spinach too.
Are There Any Alternatives to Provolone?
You may prefer an alternative to provolone, as, unfortunately, it can be quite expensive.
Or perhaps you prefer a more flavorful cheese.
Some substitutes include Gouda, Gruyere, Manchego, Taleggio, and of course, mozzarella.
Fontina is also a great choice and is probably the closest in taste and texture to aged provolone.
It melts easily and has a subtle aroma.
You could also consider Havarti, a Danish cheese with a taste of hazelnut.
It is gluten-free and is usually made with vegetarian rennet, making it a good option for vegetarians.
Finally, you can try the Swiss cheese, Emmental, with its characteristic holes.
The Best Philly Cheesesteak Recipe
- Provolone is a semi-hard cheese that melts easily
- It is a versatile and effective cheese that works well in grilled sandwiches, in omelets, and on pizzas
- The moisture content and creamy texture make it ideal for melting
- It does have quite a bland flavor, but can be mixed with other cheese for a better result
- Alternatives to provolone include Emmental, Fontina, and mozzarella.
Thank you for reading, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.
One reason that people don’t perhaps use this cheese is the cost, so you may wish to read why provolone can be expensive.