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American Cheese vs Provolone: Is One Better?

Delving into the world of cheese reveals a diverse spectrum of flavors, textures, and histories.

Among these, the contrast between American cheese vs Provolone cheese stands stark.

From the tangy richness of Provolone to the familiar melt-in-your-mouth quality of American cheese, the differences are multifaceted.

Below I’ll embark on a comparison through six pivotal distinctions: taste, texture, aging process, nutritional content, price points, and popularity.

Join me as I uncover the nuanced world of Provolone and American cheese, delving beyond the surface into a realm where taste and tradition harmonize your taste buds.

american cheese vs provolone cheese feat

What is Provolone Cheese?

Provolone is a delicious and versatile Italian cheese made from cow’s milk.

When you think of natural cheeses crafted through traditional methods, provolone is a standout example.

Originating in Italy, provolone cheese comes in two main types: piccante and dolce.

The piccante provolone has a bolder, sharper flavor, while the dolce provolone offers a sweeter, milder taste.

Both varieties are made using cow’s milk, and their unique characteristics can enhance many dishes that call for cheese.

Provolone is classified as a semi-hard cheese, and its texture and flavor play a significant role in its uses.

You might enjoy the mild taste of dolce provolone on sandwiches, whereas the smoky flavor of piccante provolone pairs well with grilled dishes and robust sauces.

So the next time you’re in the mood for Italian cheese, consider adding some provolone to your meal.

The diverse flavors and types of this cow’s milk cheese open a world of possibilities for both your savory and sweet recipes.

What is American Cheese?

American cheese is a processed cheese product, typically made from cheddar or Colby cheeses.

To create it, cheese curds are heated, mixed, and emulsified with ingredients like cream, butter, and salt.

You’ll notice that it has a mild flavor and a creamy texture, which makes it a popular choice for dishes like macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches.

In the United States, it’s well-known for its smooth melting properties, thanks to the additives and artificial flavors included in the manufacturing process.

However, these additives can also contribute to a longer shelf life, which is beneficial for those who enjoy having a versatile cheese on hand.

By exploring the world of American cheese, you’ll find that it’s a reliable go-to for adding some cheesy goodness to your meals.

Just remember, it’s not a traditional cheese like cheddar or Colby, so expect a different taste and texture experience.

Enjoy experimenting with this unique cheese in your cooking adventures!

What are the Differences between Provolone and American Cheese?

Provolone is a traditional Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It comes in two varieties: provolone dolce and provolone piccante.

On the other hand, American cheese is a processed cheese product made from a blend of cheddar and Colby cheese.

When it comes to taste and flavor, provolone has a nutty, mild flavor in its dolce variety and a sharp, strong taste when piccante.

American cheese, however, has a mild, creamy taste, with some artificial flavorings added during processing.

The aging process for provolone is crucial, as it determines its final taste.

Provolone dolce has a shorter aging time compared to piccante provolone, which is aged for a longer period.

American cheese, being heavily processed, does not undergo a formal aging process.

Considering their nutritional values, both provolone and American cheese contain calcium, phosphorus, and protein.

However, provolone is generally richer in vitamins and minerals, since it contains zinc, selenium, vitamin B2, and vitamin A.

Due to its processed nature, American cheese has a higher sodium content and more additives.

When it comes to shelf life, provolone cheese generally lasts longer as it is a natural, hard cheese.

American cheese, being processed and containing artificial ingredients, has a shorter shelf life comparatively.

In terms of price, provolone is typically more expensive than American cheese, since it’s made using traditional methods and has a longer aging process.


Taste differences between Provolone and American cheese are noticeable.

Provolone has a complex flavor with a nutty undertone.

American cheese is creamy, smooth, and slightly tangy.

In addition, Provolone has a sweet aftertaste.


When it comes to texture differences, you’ll notice that Provolone has a slightly grainier texture.

On the other hand, American cheese is smooth and creamy.

Provolone is easy to slice thin, which is perfect for your sandwiches.

American cheese tends to hold up better when melted, ideal for your dishes that require melting.

Remember to enjoy the unique textures each cheese brings to your meals!

How These Cheeses Are Made


You start with fresh milk which is heated and combined with rennet.

The curdling process begins, and cheese curds are formed.

These curds are then cut, drained, and kneaded – a process known as ‘pasta filata’ – to produce a smooth, elastic texture.

The molded cheese is then brined, developing a thin, protective rind around it.

Finally, the cheese is shaped into long log forms like big sausages, salted, and aged to achieve the desired taste.

In time these forms are cut into circles and wrapped; ready for consumption.

cutting provolone cheese circle

American Cheese:

Your base is a mixture of real cheese, usually Colby and cheddar.

You add emulsifiers, milk solids, & water.

The mixture is then heated, forming a homogenous, smooth texture.

Finally, it’s sliced or packaged in blocks, ready for your enjoyment.

Here’s a more detailed rundown of the whole thing!

Aging Process

Provolone cheese is aged for at least two months, and often even longer than one year.

This maturation process results in a sharper taste for you to enjoy.

The longer Provolone is aged, the more intense its flavor becomes, offering a delightful experience for your taste buds.

American cheese, on the other hand, is typically aged for a shorter period of 2 to 3 months.

This shorter aging process means the flavor is not as sharp or intense as Provolone.

As you taste the cheeses, you may notice that American cheese has a milder flavor in comparison.

Nutritional Differences

Both Provolone and American cheese offer unique nutritional benefits.

Provolone is a great source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus, which promotes bone health.

On the other hand, American cheese is fortified with nutrients like vitamin D and folic acid.

In terms of sodium content, American cheese has a higher amount compared to Provolone, which may be a concern for those monitoring their salt intake.

When it comes to saturated fats, both cheeses have similar quantities.

Do They Cost the Same?

You might notice a price difference when choosing between Provolone and American cheese.

In general, American cheese is more affordable and easier to find in most grocery stores, costing around $7 per pound.

On the contrary, Provolone cheese is a bit pricier with an average price of approximately $20 per pound.

That might affect your decision if you’re shopping on a budget.

Another factor to consider is shelf life. Provolone lasts a bit longer in the fridge compared to American cheese.

Just remember to store both types of cheese properly to maximize their freshness and taste.


Provolone is a popular type of cheese, especially in Italian cuisine and gourmet dishes.

American cheese, due to its mild taste and convenient melting properties, is widely used in sandwiches, burgers, and other American-style dishes.

Provolone Vs American Cheese: How Alike Are They?

You might wonder if Provolone and American cheese are the same.

Well, they do have certain similarities, but there are noteworthy differences.

For starters, Provolone cheese has a semi-hard texture, while American cheese is typically softer.

The flavor of Provolone is more robust and tangy, whereas American cheese is mild and creamy.

In terms of nutrition, both cheeses contain similar amounts of protein and fat.

However, the aging process for Provolone is considerably longer than that of American cheese.

You may also notice price disparities between these cheeses, with Provolone often being more expensive.

While they share some qualities, their texture, flavor, and production method set them apart.

Which Cheese Has Fewer Calories: Provolone or American?

When comparing calories between Provolone and American cheese, you’ll find that they are quite similar.

Provolone has approximately 98 calories per 1 ounce (28 grams) serving, while American cheese has around 94 calories for the same serving size.

This means that American cheese has fewer calories than Provolone, but the difference amounts to just 4 calories.

Keep in mind that nutritional content can vary slightly between different brands.

To help you choose, consider factors beyond calorie differences, such as taste preferences, calcium content, and the recipes you plan to use the cheese in.

Is white American cheese a good substitute for Provolone?

Provolone, an Italian cheese, has a semi-hard texture and mild flavor.

White American cheese, on the other hand, is processed and has a softer texture.

In terms of melting properties, both cheeses melt well. This makes them suitable for dishes like sandwiches or casseroles.

However, the flavor profile of Provolone might be more desirable for recipes requiring a distinctive taste.

White American cheese has a milder flavor and might not add much uniqueness to a dish.

If you don’t mind the difference in flavor and texture, white American cheese can be a decent substitute for Provolone.

Keep in mind, the final result might not be exactly the same as with Provolone.

So, feel free to use white American cheese as a substitute, but remember the nuances in taste and texture will set them apart.

How do the flavors of Provolone and American cheese compare?

When you taste Provolone, you’ll notice a smooth and creamy flavor. It has a slight tanginess that adds complexity.

In contrast, American cheese offers a mild taste. It’s known for its easy meltability and smooth texture.

Enjoy experimenting with these two cheeses in your recipes!

What are the health benefits of Provolone versus American cheese?

When comparing Provolone and American cheese, you’ll find both have their merits.

Provolone offers:

  • Calcium: Great for your bones and teeth.
  • Protein: Supports muscle growth and repair.

American cheese provides:

  • Lower fat: A heart-healthy option.
  • Vitamin A: Important for vision and skin health.

Remember to enjoy both in moderation for a balanced diet.

In what recipes can you use Provolone instead of American cheese, or vice versa?

You can easily swap Provolone for American cheese in various recipes.

Consider using Provolone in sandwiches, such as Philly cheesesteaks or paninis, for a richer flavor.

American cheese works well in classic grilled cheese sandwiches and cheeseburgers due to its meltability.

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