Provolone and Swiss cheese are both popularly used in sandwiches and some other foods. They do have a similar texture, despite the easily distinguishable looks. However, actually, Provolone vs Swiss cheese taste differently. They also provide different nutritional values. So, which one is better?
Continue reading below to find out about:
– The origin of each type of cheese
– The distinctive features of Provolone and Swiss cheese
– The texture of each cheese
– How Provolone vs Swiss taste
– The comparison of the nutritional values of these cheeses
– Which cheese that is generally more recommended
Provolone is an Italian cheese. It is a type of aged pasta filata (stretched curt) cheese, which originated in the Casilli area near Vesuvius. It is now mainly produced in the Po River Valley regions of Veneto and Lombardia,as well asin the Cremona city. Provolone-type cheese products are also produced in other countries. See also: Provolone vs Muenster.
Modern provolone is made from full-fat cow’s milk. Provolone valpadana and provolone del Monaco are protected by PDO certification from the European Union, so there is no other country besides Italy that may produce a cheese with any of those names.
Swiss cheese is more of a generic name used in North America to refer to several cheese varieties that resemble the Emmental cheese, which is a yellow medium-hard cheese from Emmental, Switzerland. Most Swiss cheese products have holes, which are called “eyes”. Hence, Swiss cheese products that don’t have holes are called “blind”.
Nowadays, Swiss cheese can be manufactured in any country. However, it is mainly of North American manufacture. According to Wikipedia, about 8 million pounds of Swiss cheese was produced in the United States alone in 2014.
Provolone is sold in various forms. Unlike many other cheeses that need to be sold in particular shapes, provolone does not need to follow a strict rule regarding the shape. It may have the shape of a pear, cone, or sausage. The color is usually pale. It is white and just slightly yellowish. The size also varies.
Large pear-shaped provolone usually has a round knob that allows hanging. Cone-shaped provolone is usually between 4 – 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) long. Meanwhile, sausage-shaped provolone may be as large as 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter and 3 feet (90 cm) in length. The weight is typically around 11 lbs (5 kg).
Swiss cheese, on the other hand, has a distinctive yellow color. Although the intensity of the yellow color may vary from product to product, it is usually not too pale. Furthermore, the most distinctive feature of most Swiss cheese products is their holes. The holes are formed during the fermentation process, in which the fermentation bacteria produce propionic acid, acetate, and carbon dioxide gas. The buildup of carbon dioxide gas gradually forms the bubbles that make the “eyes”.
Usually, the larger the eye size, the stronger the flavor of the cheese. This is because a larger hole size indicates a longer fermentation process. But some products with no holes may have been pressed. Also, the holes actually make the cheese difficult to slice, especially when using a mechanical slicer. To counter the problem, industry regulators have set a limit for the eye size for Grade-A Swiss cheese products.
Provolone and Swiss cheese has a similar texture. This is why they are sometimes interchangeable in certain dishes. Both Provolone and Swiss cheese are medium-hard cheeses that aren’t exactly grainy. They are pretty solid and firm, so they are generally easy to slice. Sometimes, it is necessary for you to freeze these cheeses in order to grate them.
Despite the somewhat firm texture, Provolone and Swiss cheese are still deliciously smooth. Hence, Provolone and Swiss cheese are very much loved for sandwiches. They are sometimes used for pizzas. Provolone, in particular, is used for Philly cheesesteaks. Swiss cheese, on the other hand, is sometimes eaten in chunks.
So, how do Provolone vs Swiss taste? They are actually quite different! While they are both great and tasty, some people may prefer Provolone while others find Swiss cheese to be more deliciously.
Provolone generally tastes buttery and tangy. However, the intensity varies from product to product. Provolone dolce is a rather sweet cheese with a very mild taste. Meanwhile, Provolone piccanteis a sharp and piquant cheese that has been aged for at least four months, and it has a very sharp taste.
Swiss cheese is sweet and nutty. Similarly, the intensity of the flavor may vary. As explained above, this is often indicated by the size of the hole. Smaller holes usually mean that the flavor is rather mild. Larger holes often hint that the flavor is stronger and more intense. The sweet and nutty flavor comes from the propionic acid and acetate.
Besides the difference in Provolone vs Swiss taste, these cheeses also provide different nutritional values. Provolone is very high in sodium. Swiss cheese is great because it is low in sodium and high in calcium.
Provolone can provide good nutrients, including protein, fat, and some vitamins and minerals. However, Provolone is not considered as one of the healthiest types of cheese because it is very high in sodium.
One 100g serving of Provolone provides about 351 calories. It contains approximately 26 grams of protein, 27 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrate, and 876mg of sodium. The high sodium content may cause increased blood pressure and also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Swiss cheese is one of the healthy cheese types, although it is not necessarily the very healthiest. It is low in sodium and high in calcium. In addition, it has a low level of lactose, so it may be consumed by people who have lactose intolerance.
One 100g serving of Swiss cheese provides about 380 calories. It contains about 27 grams of protein, 28 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, and just 192mg of sodium. As you can see, the sodium content is much lower.
Provolone vs Swiss Taste
|Provolone Cheese||Swiss Cheese|
|- Originated in Italy||- Cheese varieties similar to Emmental cheese from Switzerland|
|- Doesn’t have holes||- Typically have “eyes” (holes), although some products don’t|
|- Pale color||- Yellow color|
|- Buttery and tangy flavor||- Sweet and nutty flavor|
|- High sodium content||- Significantly lower sodium while having high calcium|
In general, Swiss cheese is more recommended because it is relatively healthier than Provolone. Swiss cheese has significantly lower sodium while being high in calcium. The texture is quite similar, but the flavor is different. Swiss cheese has a sweet and nutty flavor.