Like other classic cheeses, Parmesan has been pleasing palates for so long that its popularity can be underappreciated. It’s a mainstay ingredient across the restaurant industry—everything from casual to midscale to fine dining—and for good reason. Roughly 8 in 10 consumers say they like or love it (only mozzarella and cheddar are more popular), and 69% say they eat Parmesan at least once a month, according to Datassential research.
Its history in Italy and the United States underscores an important fact about mozzarella cheese: Although they all share the name “mozzarella,” there are actually several different varieties of the beloved Italian cheese, each with its own unique characteristics.
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Signature dishes that feature savory, delicious cheese can entice customers to keep coming back. Need proof?
Recent research confirms that consumers love cheese: nearly half (46%) say they look forward to signature cheese dishes when eating restaurant cuisine. Six in 10 operators believe adding cheese helps items sell better.
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It’s easy to overlook ricotta. Mild, fluffy and slightly sweet, the Italian cheese is most closely associated with lasagna, where it’s typically blended with mozzarella and Parmesan. (The same mixture figures prominently in ravioli, manicotti and cannoli as well.) Indeed, for both professional chefs and home cooks, ricotta often plays a supporting (rather than starring) role.