Mozzarella Vs Provolone Cheese: What’s The Difference?

Mozzarella Vs Provolone Cheese

In the world of cheese, mozzarella and provolone are two of the best ones. These two well-known types have been used to enhance the flavor of countless tasty dishes. 

However, due to some similarities, it is pretty challenging to distinguish between mozzarella vs provolone cheese. Don’t worry if it is also your case because this situation usually happens even for professional chefs.

The content underneath is much gathered and coherently shown, with a few picked focuses on giving you essential data about these 2 types of cheese so you can recognize them as far as different angles. Let’s get started! 

Quick Facts

Mozzarella cheese: 

  • Making process: easier 
  • Curation process: immediately 
  • Texture: soft, easier to melt 
  • Flavor: lighter, simpler 
  • Storage time: weak shelf life 
  • Nutritional value: less calories & fat  

Provolone cheese: 

  • Making process: harder 
  • Curation process: 2-3 months 
  • Texture: firm
  • Flavor: stronger, more complex 
  • Storage time: longer shelf life 
  • Nutritional value: more sodium, protein, and cholesterol

Provolone Cheese 

If you are a cheese lover, surely you can not miss the provolone cheese commonly appearing in various meals of Europe style restaurants. Specifically, it is a type of Italian cheese that has been widely produced in areas beyond the barriers of Italy. 

Although you can purchase provolone made by many countries, the most famous production region still exists in Northwestern Italy and Cremona

Provolone cheese comes in various sizes and shapes that fit customers’ demands. For example, it includes sausage form that can be 90 cm long, truncated bottle shape, large pear shape with round knob, etc. Despite being different in size, provolone makers create it with an average weight of 5 kg typically. 

Once being produced, this type of cheese can be stored and last from 3 to 4 months without any changes in flavor. Besides this ideal period, you can still consume provolone for several additional months. However, undoubtedly, it will not be as good as before due to its drier and firmer texture. 

Many may wonder about the origin of provolone: when it appeared, where it was introduced, and so on. A little bit of history telling, before becoming widely produced in Northern Italy, the cheese was first created in the 19th century in the region called Casilli near Vesuvius. 

Since then, it has gained a considerable reputation for its incredible, fatty taste that can not be easily mistaken for others. 

Click here for more information about provolone.

Mozzarella Cheese

Another famous type of Italian cheese would be mozzarella. Usually, it is made from Italian animals’ milk by the pasta filata method. 

But what is the pasta filata method? You may wonder. It is a technique that allows cheeses to be manufactured by undergoing a kneading treatment of fresh curd in hot water to create a fibrous structure. 

Mozzarella comes in white or yellow. The white type signals it is fresh mozzarella while the animal’s diet causes the yellow one. Overall, farmers can take milk from 4 main types of cattle, including:

  • Buffalo: In Italy, the origin of mozzarella, most of it is produced using Italian buffalo’s milk under the official international name “Mozzarella di latte di bufala.” The inspection process is rigorous so that not any buffalo in Italy can meet the requirement of milk. Only those from designated areas such as Campania, Lazio, Apulia, and Molise are acceptable. 
  • Cow: Using cow milk can reduce the cost related to producing this type of cheese. If you live outside European countries’ zones, it is more likely that the mozzarella comes from cow’s milk.
  • Sheep: This type is usually called “mozzarella pecorella” and works well when added with rennet.

Mozzarella is high in moisture and can be consumed a day immediately after being finished. Yet, several following days are the ideal period for you to eat and enjoy its best flavor. 

In natural conditions, mozzarella is spoiled so soon that several methods must be applied to lengthen its lifespan. For example, you can keep it in brine for a week or use vacuum-sealed packages for a longer period. Otherwise, refrigerating is also an option. 

How Are They Made? 

What exactly are the methods applied for making provolone and mozzarella? You may ask. Due to different characteristics, the process of creating these types of cheeses is not the same. 

Several confusing steps are required to make provolone:

  • Step 1: Cow’s milk is extracted to become fresh by farmers.
  • Step 2: Extracted milk is heated until the curds appear.
  • Step 3: The formed curds are broken up to drain and cook for 5 to 8 hours.
  • Step 4: Because the curds are so large, they need to be cut down into a smaller size.
  • Step 5: Manually pull and stretch sliced curds until a stringy and rubbery texture appears.
  • Step 6: Add salted brine and soak molded blocks to achieve provolone. 

Compared to provolone cheese, it is much easier to make mozzarella: 

  • Step 1: Buffalo’s milk is extracted to become fresh by farmers. Besides, cows, sheep, and goat’s milk can be substituted for buffalo.
  • Step 2: A thermophilic microscopic organism is framed from a whey starter. 
  • Step 3: Add rennet to make the milk coagulate. 
  • Step 4: Once achieving the curd, it is sliced and goes through an interaction called “recuperating.”
  • Step 5: After recuperating, the curds are blended, warmed, and afterward isolated from the whey by depleting. 
  • Step 6: The cheddar is likewise hand-extended and manipulated to accomplish a smooth and glossy consistency. 
  • Step 7: Finally, framed into chamber-like shapes with a rubbery and semi-delicate surface.

The mozzarella recipe is illustrated here

Which Cheese Has The Most Nutritional Value?  

Food nutrition is not a simple aspect that can be answered with basic one or two sentences. Similar cases also apply for the comparison of mozzarella vs provolone. It is hard to state precisely which type among the two is superior. 

The judgment should be made by yourself by considering your specific substances. Below listed some nutritional information calculated from a cup of each type:

  • Calories: If you are on a diet and want to avoid high-calorie products, mozzarella would be a better option. A cup of it contains 336 Kcal, while with provolone, it is 463 Kcal. 
  • Total Fat: Similar case of calories also applies to the amount of fat. Mozzarella is stated to have 10 g less in fat (25g) compared to provolone (35.1g)
  • Sodium, protein, and cholesterol: In terms of these three beneficial substances, provolone provides people with a higher amount of them. 

Due to different nutritional information and users’ purpose, mozzarella can be a more suitable choice and vice versa.

Can You Substitute Provolone Cheese to Mozzarella Cheese?

Although these two types of cheese taste differ (the former has a stronger and more complex flavor), you can still use mozzarella instead of provolone cheese. 

Don’t be surprised to know that mozzarella is believed to be the best substitute for provolone if you can not find it from your local supermarket. Many professional chefs also agree with this point. 

Similar characteristics, making method (both include stretching the curds step), and the fact that mozzarella is so popular with people’s appetite allow you to replace it in almost all recipes that require provolone. 

Though, in case you still desire the exact flavor of provolone, a small tip you can apply to make it done is adding muenster to the mozzarella. 

Can You Mix Both Cheese in One Dish? 

There is nothing wrong with mixing both kinds of cheese in one dish. The combination of these two can make your dish even better, especially for pizza, pasta, etc. 

However, remember that cheese is a fatty food, and the double of it will not be suitable for those in the diet period.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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