It almost goes without saying that formaggio (Italian word for cheese) is an absolute staple in Italian cuisine. At Fazoli’s, we use a variety of cheeses to enhance our dishes. We use the following cheeses:
Mozzarella – Whether it is one of our craveable baked pastas, Submarino, or pizza, mozzarella is our most-used cheese. At Fazoli’s we only use mozzarella made with whole milk. Many restaurants use mozzarella made with skim milk. The skim milk variety has less flavor and less meltability. The whole milk mozzarella ensures that each and every baked pasta is delicious and cheesy! We blend our shredded mozzarella with Provolone cheese. This signature blend adds just an extra kick of flavor to make our pastas even more craveable.
Parmesan Cheese – Parmesan cheese is an American variant of Parmigiano-Reggiano, which Italians refer to as “the king of cheeses.” The name refers to the Parma region and the Reggio Emilia region. Parmigiano-Reggiano is almost sacred to the Italian. There is actually an inspector that inspects every single wheel produce to make sure it is up to standard. The job is called Consorzio Parmigiano-Reggiano. They determine the quality by tapping the outside to ensure the cheese wheel is not hollow. If it is approved, it is branded with the Consorzio’s logo. We use Parmesan Cheese in several different ways:
- Tableside Parmesan – When you dine in our restaurants, we will offer you some freshly grated Parmesan cheese tableside. The cheese we use for this service is the highest quality American made Parmesan available. It is made in Wisconsin and aged for at least 10 months. This provides the hard, almost nutty flavor.
- Shaved Parmesan – On top of various dishes, including Fettuccine Alfredo and our Caesar salads, we use shaved Parmesan. This cheese is imported and aged for maximum flavor.
- Parmesan Spice Blend – On top of many of our dishes, we will sprinkle a blend of Parmesan cheese , garlic, and Italian spices. This adds some color and some Italian flair to our dishes!
- Parmesan cheese is used in many other products such as our Mezzaluna (half-moon) ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, and Alfredo sauce
Romano Cheese – Romano is a hard Italian cheese similar to Parmesan cheese, however it is traditionally made from sheep’s milk. The Italian term for this is Pecorino Romano. The flavor is slightly sharper and bolder than Parmesan. We use imported Romano in our Mezzaluna ravioli. The name Romano simply means from Rome.
Ricotta Cheese – Ricotta is the base cheese in our lasagna, tortellini, and our ravioli. The name ricotta translates literally to “re-cooked.” The cheese is heated twice, hence the name. The end result is a rich and creamy filling that is perfect for an indulgent dish. It adds the almost sweet and rich decadence to our Baked Lasagna, and soft, delicate texture to our mezzaluna ravioli.
You’ll find a variety of cheeses in any Italian kitchen and on every Italian dinner table. Italians are passionate about formaggio, so we thought it was important that we were too. It would be easy to cut corners and quality, but that’s not what is best for our guests. Whether it is our whole milk mozzarella or our aged tableside Parmesan cheese, you know at Fazoli’s you are getting the highest quality of cheese.