What Does Provolone Cheese Taste Like?

Aprovolone cheesere you planning to throw a Charcuterie Board party? Are you confused with the cheese selection? It can be really stressful to find the best cheese that will go with your board. If you’re planning to serve aged and full-bodied red wine or some white wine, you can’t go wrong with some provolone cheese. This pasta filata Italian cow-milk cheese goes with so many dishes. Eat it melted or cold, the apt flavors and textures will blow your mind. So what does provolone cheese taste like exactly? Allow me to describe that to you.

What does provolone cheese taste like?

The semi-hard provolone cheese can have a mild to sharp flavor with tangy and slightly spicy tones. It also has a bit of a nutty taste and a nice level of saltiness. The ideal provolone cheese should be smooth, mild, salty, and of course, full of characters.

You can generally find three types of provolone in the market— Provolone Dolce, which is aged for 2-3 months and has a sweet and mild taste. Then comes the Provolone Piccante, which is aged for 4 months or longer and has a buttery, sharp and spicy taste to it. Lastly, the American deli Provolone, which isn’t aged for too long and so it is almost similar to Provolone Dolce with a very mild flavor to it.

To be mentioned, provolone isn’t pungent or too sharp as other exotic Swiss cheeses. So when you cook with provolone it won’t overpower the flavors of your dish or completely change the taste of your dish. If you think your provolone has a rancid taste, it’s because the cheese is old or the presence of butyric acid and the imbalance of FFAs.

Since Provolone Dolce, as well as deli provolone cheese, melts nicely, they are great for pizza, sandwiches, and casseroles. If you use an adequate amount of provolone in your dishes, it will complement the taste of the dish instead of giving it an odd taste. On the other hand, Provolone Piccante’s sharper taste may change the taste of an entire dish. So instead of using that on your regular dishes, just include it in a cheese plate or eat it as a snack. You can also grate it onto pasta, pizzas, or salads as a cheese topping.

In South America, you can find a similar cheese called Provoleta that tastes delicious when eaten with grilled meat. The dish is called Grilled Provolone. Some must-try dishes are— Bruschetta with Provolone, Provolone Cheese Roll-Ups, Frittata with Zucchini and Provolone, and even Vegetarian Pizza.

Do mozzarella and provolone taste the same?

Mozzarella and provolone cheeses are made quite similarly. While the mozzarella is served fresh, the provolone is tied and left to age. That’s why mozzarella is a close relative of provolone. However, they don’t taste exactly the same. Mozzarella has a fresh and mild flavor and provolone doesn’t really taste fresh. So yes, they are a bit similar. But the sharper provolone cheese tastes completely different than mozzarella.

Is provolone cheese stinky?

Now you must be wondering— what does provolone cheese smell like? Well, good news, provolone cheese has a pleasant smell. Authentic provolone has a slightly stronger smell that correlates with its strong flavor. However, the aroma of this cheese depends on its manufacturing methods. The longer the cheese is aged, the sharper the smell gets. The mild ones have a mild smell that most people enjoy. It’s a different scenario from the Provolone del Monaco. Why? Because it is aged for at least 6 months. Due to its long aging time, del Monaco develops a sour, pungent, and buttery aroma which is also loved by many consumers.

Is provolone cheese healthy?

Provolone cheese is healthy and nutritious dairy food. It contains a great amount of calcium, and protein, both of which are truly essential to contribute to growing stronger muscles and bones. The cheese also contains a high level of sodium and phosphorus which are necessary elements for your body. Provolone also has the essential amino acids that are needed to make proteins for our body.

Like most Italian cheeses, provolone is rich in taste but simple in ingredients. Because provolone doesn’t have casein or lactose, people with milk allergies can eat this cheese without any problems. Most versions of this cheese are pasteurized and gluten-free. Plus, they don’t have any added preservatives or fillers. Authentic and traditional provolone cheese contains calf rennet, so vegetarians cannot consume that. So be sure to check the label if you want to buy the vegetarian version of this cheese.

Like most cheeses, provolone also contains fats. However, if eaten as part of an appetizer platter, provolone will qualify as a healthier option compared to other cheese. Do remember, eating cheese actually promotes less weight gain than those who don’t eat much cheese.

What cheese is similar to provolone?

There are many kinds of cheese out there that have similar flavors and textures like Provolone. So you can find a great variety of substitutes for provolone cheese. As mentioned earlier, mozzarella and provolone fall under the same family. But there are some better replacements. Just like Provolone, Fontina cheese is nutty and mild with a dense and somewhat firm texture.

Some of the other alternatives are— Monterey Jack, cheddar, Parmesan, Gouda, Edam, Emmental, Gruyère, Young Asiago, Manchego cheese, Scamorza cheese, Muenster, Taleggio, Havarti, Comté Cheese, etc.


If you want to enjoy the traditional taste of provolone, you gotta shop for the one with a stronger aroma. Do keep in mind that it will feel a bit stinky. But the taste is rather delicious. If the taste is a big no for you, go for the less aromatic version of provolone. They will be just as tasty and healthy. Eat it melted or cold, you will definitely love the taste of provolone cheese. So bring up your cooking creativity with a hint of this unique cheese and see how impressed everyone is.