Difference Wiki

Mozzarella vs. Parmesan: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 31, 2023
Mozzarella is a soft, white cheese known for its meltability, while Parmesan is a hard, aged cheese with a strong, nutty flavor.

Key Differences

Mozzarella, originating from Italy, is a soft cheese made from cow or buffalo milk. Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, aged cheese made from cow's milk and hailing from the Parma region in Italy.
The texture of mozzarella is moist and stretchy, ideal for melting. Parmesan has a hard, gritty texture and is often grated over dishes.
Mozzarella is known for its mild flavor and is a staple in pizzas and caprese salads. Parmesan is known for its sharp, salty flavor, enhancing the taste of pastas, soups, and risottos.
Aging process differs greatly; mozzarella is consumed fresh, while Parmesan is aged for at least 12 months, often up to 36 months for full flavor development.
Mozzarella is high in moisture and lower in fat compared to Parmesan, which is drier and has a higher fat content due to the aging process.

Comparison Chart


Italy, from cow or buffalo milk.
Italy, specifically Parma region, from cow's milk.


Soft, moist, and stretchy.
Hard, gritty, and crumbly.


Mild and slightly tangy.
Sharp, salty, and nutty.

Aging Process

Consumed fresh, little to no aging.
Aged at least 12 months, often longer.

Culinary Use

Ideal for melting, used in pizzas and salads.
Grated over pasta, soups, and used in baking.

Mozzarella and Parmesan Definitions


Mozzarella is a soft Italian cheese known for its stretchy texture.
Mozzarella melted perfectly on the homemade pizza.


Parmesan is a hard, aged Italian cheese with a strong flavor.
He sprinkled Parmesan on his spaghetti for extra flavor.


This cheese is traditionally made from water buffalo milk.
Authentic Italian mozzarella is made from buffalo milk.


Authentic Parmesan cheese is known as Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The recipe called for finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Mozzarella is often used for its excellent melting qualities.
The mozzarella created a gooey layer in the lasagna.


Parmesan is known for its low moisture and high salt content.
The Parmesan added a savory depth to the risotto.


Mozzarella is characterized by its high moisture content.
The fresh mozzarella added a juicy element to the salad.


Parmesan is commonly used grated over pasta and soups.
A generous topping of Parmesan perfected the minestrone soup.


It is a staple in Italian cuisine, especially in Caprese salad.
The Caprese salad featured ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.


This cheese undergoes a lengthy aging process for flavor development.
The aged Parmesan had a rich, complex flavor.


A mild white Italian cheese that has a springy texture and is often eaten melted, as on pizza.


A hard, sharp, dry Italian cheese made from skim milk and usually served grated as a garnish.


Soft Italian cheese made from cow's or buffalo's milk and commonly used as a pizza topping and in salads etc.


A hard, full-fat Italian cheese from Parma.




(by extension) A similar cheese produced elsewhere.


Mild white Italian cheese


(slang) Money.


Of or pertaining to Parma in Italy.


Parmesan cheese.


Hard dry sharp-flavored Italian cheese; often grated


Can mozzarella be aged like Parmesan?

Typically, mozzarella is consumed fresh and not aged like Parmesan.

What's the best way to store mozzarella?

Keep mozzarella in the refrigerator, preferably in its liquid brine.

Is mozzarella always made from buffalo milk?

No, it can also be made from cow's milk.

Is Parmesan cheese suitable for vegetarians?

Traditional Parmesan is not vegetarian, as it uses animal rennet.

Is mozzarella cheese high in calories?

Mozzarella is lower in calories compared to many aged cheeses.

What makes Parmesan cheese hard and crumbly?

Its texture is due to the long aging process and low moisture content.

Is buffalo mozzarella different from regular mozzarella?

Yes, it's made from buffalo milk and has a richer flavor.

Can you freeze Parmesan cheese?

Yes, Parmesan can be frozen, though it's best grated before freezing.

Does Parmesan melt well?

It melts differently, often used grated due to its hard texture.

Is Parmesan good for grating?

Yes, it's ideal for grating over various dishes.

What dishes is Parmesan best used in?

Parmesan is great in pastas, risottos, and as a topping for soups.

Is mozzarella a good source of protein?

Yes, it's a good source of protein.

Is mozzarella good for melting?

Yes, it's excellent for melting due to its moisture content.

What are the nutritional benefits of Parmesan?

Parmesan is high in calcium and protein.

Can lactose-intolerant people eat mozzarella or Parmesan?

Some aged cheeses like Parmesan have lower lactose, but it varies by individual tolerance.

What's the flavor profile of mozzarella?

It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor.

How would you describe the taste of Parmesan?

It has a sharp, nutty, and salty flavor.

How long is Parmesan aged?

It's aged for at least 12 months, often up to 36 months or more.

Can mozzarella be used in baking?

Yes, it's great for baking, especially in dishes like lasagna.

Can I make pizza with Parmesan instead of mozzarella?

Yes, but the flavor and texture will be different.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons