Swiss vs Provolone Differences and Similarities

Swiss and Provolone are two popular choices to add new cheese flavors and tastes to cheese lovers who are often looking for new and exciting varieties of cheese to add to their palate.

However, to many people, selecting one is confusing because of its many similarities. But there are some differences, too.

The main differences between Swiss and provolone are: Swiss cheese is known for its distinctive holes and mild, nutty flavor, while Provolone cheese is a semi-hard cheese with a tangy and sharp taste.

Swiss cheese is a good melting cheese, while Provolone cheese is often used for grilling or shredding.

There are some more differences between these two famous cheeses besides their similarities.

This discussion aims to open all these secrets of Swiss and provolone cheese. If you think this will be a masterpiece, read it until the end.

An Overview

A table gives a to-the-point idea about any subject before going into detail. That’s why we’ll first look at a table of Swiss and Provolone cheeses.

FeatureSwiss CheeseProvolone Cheese
Milk TypeCowCow
ProductionHeated and bacterial cultures were addedHeated and rennet added
TextureFirm and slightly elastic with large holes or “eyes”Semi-hard and smooth
FlavorMild, nutty, and slightly sweetMild, buttery, and slightly tangy
AppearancePale yellow with characteristic holes or “eyes”Pale yellow with a smooth surface
MeltabilityGoodVery good
UsesMelting, sandwiches, fondue, and saladsMelting, sandwiches, pizza, and salads
PairingsWhite wine, beer, and fruitsRed wine, olives, and cured meats

As we know, Swiss cheese and provolone cheese are famous and delicious. Individual differences in texture, flavor, and appearance can make each cheese more suitable for certain dishes or pairings.

Detail Differences Between Swiss vs. Provolone

As we can see from the table above, Swiss and Provolone have distinct differences in texture, flavor, and appearance.

Now it’s time to discuss the main differences between Swiss and Provolone cheese.

Origin and Production

Swiss cheese was born in Switzerland. It is also known as Emmental cheese. This cheese is made from cow’s milk. Bacterial cultures are added to the milk by heating it during manufacturing.

The cheese is then formed into large wheels and aged for months. During aging, the bacteria emit carbon dioxide, thus developing the characteristic pits or “eyes” in this cheese.

Meanwhile, provolone cheese is an Italian cheese. Its primary raw material is cow’s milk. The milk is first heated, and then rennet is added to coagulate the milk proteins.

Ultimately, the curds are stretched and molded into the desired shape before aging for several months.


Swiss cheese is characterized by large pits or “eyes” throughout its body and a firm and slightly elastic texture. It is also slightly crumbly in texture and has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

However, the texture of provolone cheese is slightly semi-hard, smooth, and creamy. It hardens and expands when you melt it, making it a popular cheese for sandwiches and pizza.


You will find a slightly sweet aftertaste with a light nutty flavor in Swiss cheese. This cheese also has a distinct fruity or nutty aroma.

Conversely, provolone cheese has a slightly tangy aftertaste with a mild buttery flavor. You’ll notice a sharper and more intense flavor in aged provolone cheese.


Swiss cheese is easily identified by its pits or “eyes.” These pits can be observed throughout the cheese. Swiss cheese is pale yellow with a slightly shiny surface.

Provolone cheese can be found in various shapes, such as large cylindrical shapes. It is often wrapped in plastic or wax to retain its shape. Provolone cheese is pale yellow and has a smooth surface without any holes.

However, Swiss and provolone cheese differ in almost every aspect  : origin, production, texture, flavor, and appearance.

On the one hand, Swiss cheese is known for its characteristic pits and nutty flavor, while provolone cheese is known for its smooth texture and buttery taste.

Similarities Between Swiss vs. Provolone

Much has been said about the differences. Now, let’s look at some similarities between Swiss and Provolone cheese.

  1. Both Swiss and provolone are sourced from cow’s milk.
  2. Aging both types of cheese for several months increases their flavor and texture.
  3. Both Swiss and provolone are popular for use in melts around the world. Making them great for sandwiches, pizza, and other hot foods.
  4. You can use either type of cheese in a salad. Moreover, they are often added to meat and cured meats.
  5. Swiss and provolone kinds of cheese have a place in traditional European cuisine and have become popular worldwide.


Here are some FAQs related to Swiss and Provolone cheese that will increase your knowledge about these cheeses.

What Are Some Dishes That Use Swiss Cheese?

Swiss cheese is widely used in fondue, sandwiches, salads, and quiches. Also, it can be melted and used as a topping on burgers or added to omelets.

Can You Substitute Swiss Cheese With Provolone Cheese in a Recipe?

Yes, you can substitute Swiss cheese and provolone cheese for each other. However, because they have distinct differences in flavor and texture, they can be melted and used in sandwiches.

Is Swiss Cheese Healthier Than Provolone Cheese?

Both kinds of cheese are high in calories and fat, as the raw material is milk. However, Swiss cheese is relatively low in sodium, so it can be considered a bit healthier.

How Long Can Swiss Cheese and Provolone Cheese Be Stored?

Swiss and provolone cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Once opened, the cheese should be wrapped in wax or parchment paper and kept in an airtight container to prevent drying.

Can You Freeze Swiss Cheese or Provolone Cheese?

Yes, you can freeze Swiss cheese and provolone cheese. However, thawing any cheese once frozen can affect its texture and flavor. So, it is better to freeze the cheese in small portions and use it for cooking or melting instead of eating it alone.


Swiss and Provolone cheese are popular cheese varieties with unique flavor profiles and culinary applications.

While Swiss cheese is mild and nutty with a distinctive holey appearance, Provolone is tangy and sharp, often used for grilling or shredding. Both cheeses can be used in various dishes, including sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta.

Besides these differences, you can’t avoid the similarities between these two cheeses. Hope this discussion cleared up all your confusion about both cheeses.

We add some popular questions related to these cheeses. Thanks for reading from us.

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