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Grating Cheese: Step Out of the Northern Italian Comfort Zone
Parmigiano-Reggiano, produced only in northern Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, is known as the king of Italian cheeses because it's sharp and sweet, with a crumbly texture and tiny crystals that give it a subtle crunch. It costs a princely sum, too, usually around $18 per pound. Pecorino Romano and Locatelli Pecorino Romano, which come from farther south, near Rome, are slightly saltier but still excellent grated, and they are less expensive (most run about $13 per pound). And if you're fine with topping your orecchiette with a non-Italian cheese, look for domestic Parmesan, which you can find for about $12 a pound.
Switch and save: $5 to $6 per pound