A hard Italian cheese, Romano is one of the oldest Italian cheeses. It is made by a special method, known as "rummaging curd"; or draining the curd quickly after molding, then piercing the surfaces slightly before salt is applied. There are several different styles of Romano, all of which take their name form the city of Rome. The best known is the sharp, tangy pecorino Romano, made with sheep's milk. Caprino Romano is an extremely sharp goat's milk version; and vacchino Romano is a very mild cow's milk cheese. Most U.S. Romanos are made of cow's milk or a combination of cow, goat or sheep's milk.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Domestic Romanos aren't as well-regarded as Italian Romanos.
How to store: Romano cheese can be frozen if it's first cut into small (1/2 pound) chunks, and wrapped in an airtight package. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use it up soon after it's thawed.
Substitutions: Parmesan (not as salty) OR aged Asiago (sharper) OR Sap Sago OR Manchego OR nutritional yeast (This substitution works best if recipe calls for cheese to be sprinkled over a dish. Nutritional yeast is low in fat, high in protein and B vitamins, and it's not made with any animal products.) OR a soy-based cheese substitute