Slip a nice bite of golden Parmigiano-Reggiano into your mouth and you’ll know why it’s considered the king of Italian cheeses. Dense, firm, and filled with crunchy, crystalline specks, it has an intense, sticky richness layered with flavors of caramel, salt, warm spices, and brown butter, adding depth to pastas, salads, and fruit desserts, including ripe pears. Pecorino Romano, on the other hand, has a saltier tang; its savory, peppery sharpness enlivens soups, sandwiches, and vegetable dishes.
All that and a great way to get protein and calcium, too. What better accompaniments to New England’s autumn harvest foods could you find? Fortunately, today’s cooks need travel no farther than the local market to find these two Italian cheeses. So pick some up this fall and indulge — guilt-free.