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Grana Padano
Creative Commons/Tamorlan

Grana Padano

Grana Padano, granted DOP on 12 June 1996, is one of the few cheeses that can possibly compete with the King of Cheeses; Parmigiano-Reggiano. Created by the Cistercian monks of Chiaravalle in the 12th century, it is still made throughout the Po River Valley in northeastern Italy.

The cheese is made from unpasteurised, semi-skimmed cow’s milk from two milking and generally aged for two years. At the end of the cheese making process, Grana Padano develops a firm, thick and deeply straw-coloured rind protecting the fragrant, dry, flaking interior. Grana means “grainy” in Italian which is reflected in the fine granular texture with an intensely sweet flavour. As Grana Padano ages, the flavours become pronounced, savory and complex and the texture becomes more crumbly.

Though similar to Parmigiano Reggiano Grana Padano is inexpensive because areas producing the cheese are bigger. Moreover, Grana is less crumbly, milder and less complex than its long-aged sibling.

Grana Padano is manufactured in cylindrical wheels measuring 35 to 45 cm in diameter, and 15 to 18 cm in height. It is sold at different ripening stages: Grana Padano (9 to 16 months), Grana Padano oltre 16 mesi (over 16 months) and Grana Padano Riserva (over 20 months).

Try pairing the cheese with a Barolo, Zinfandel or Gavi white wine.

  • Made from unpasteurized cow's milk
  • Country of origin: Italy
  • Region: Po River Valley
  • Family: Parmesan
  • Type: hard, artisan
  • Fat content: 39-41%
  • Texture: crumbly, crystalline, dense, flaky and grainy
  • Rind: natural
  • Colour: pale yellow
  • Flavour: full-flavored, nutty, savory, sweet
  • Aroma: fruity
  • Vegetarian: no
  • Alternative spellings: Grana Padano oltre 16 mesi, Grana Padano Riserva

Other Italian cheeses:

Top photos from Twitter

Jan 28
Someone gave me some “Old Winchester” cheese (Lyburn Farms)—Excellent. ½-way between Cheddar & Grana Padano—£24 kg‼️ pic.twitter.com/8mRmiX3dpk
Jan 19
We're unveiling our newest salad a try - The Kale Caesar - beautiful Red Russian Kale and Grana Padano cheese! pic.twitter.com/NYKk6PNNtf
Jan 16
Parpadelle w/ winter squash, shaved lardo, hens egg, grana padano cheese @BestellenTO #food #foodporn #pastas pic.twitter.com/Ma43mDqfpL
Jan 15
Breaking down delicious wheels of Grana Padano! We love cheese #BBHG pic.twitter.com/1Tc60l125E
Dec 18, 2014
Pasta with Greek feta cheese,black olives,butter and grana padano :) #byme #yummy #tastesgood pic.twitter.com/OwcTv7X7vD
Dec 08, 2014
Turkey Meatballs over spicy tomato sauce & spaghetti w/shaved grana padano cheese. It’s a #Meatballs kind of Monday! pic.twitter.com/TrC8l99A2B
Nov 27, 2014
We deep fried mac n' cheese made with grana padano, fontina, provolone and mozzarella. Stop by; we open at 5:30. #YVR pic.twitter.com/exQ55pCSYO
Nov 23, 2014
Fancy that? Risotto a la parmigianna in an actual grana padano cheese. Yummmmm #risottoenvy pic.twitter.com/C2NasNIS3E
Nov 22, 2014
Are you ready for The Big Cheese!? Aged provolone, asiago, mozzarella, & freshly grated grana padano! #MeatlessWonder pic.twitter.com/01tldNGNcn
Nov 19, 2014
Late night super quick Quesadilla with @foodsunearthed Jamon Iberico and grana Padano cheese pic.twitter.com/n2tMYL5pCo
Nov 03, 2014
Turkey Meatballs over spaghetti w spicy tomato sauce & grana padano cheese. At Community Canteen Sunset Hills today! pic.twitter.com/RH4bcfYPcm
Oct 24, 2014
Chicken, asparagus, roasted corn, chicken glacé sauce, pappardelle, grana padano cheese.... ift.tt/1vZQttq pic.twitter.com/PKoEhyr1dK
Oct 20, 2014
#Italianfood wakes up your senses #green as basil, #white as grana padano cheese, #red as tomato pic.twitter.com/w7SUiVQJdz
Oct 17, 2014
Look what just hit the bar at Becco... FRIED GRANA PADANO CHEESE RINDS!! Yes please!! #becconyc #CHEESE #bbhg pic.twitter.com/QcG28YpaKz
Oct 16, 2014
The Wine Around event at @eatalychicago yesterday was indeed fab! Best part? The Grana Padano 18 month old cheese! pic.twitter.com/Uxks2WQ1Ih
Oct 09, 2014
Breakfast of champions, 1 crispy egg with Irish porridge, olive oil, and Grana Padano cheese, YUM! pic.twitter.com/BDnVStXf6Z
 
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