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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

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Top photos from Twitter

Jan 28
Someone gave me some “Old Winchester” cheese (Lyburn Farms)—Excellent. ½-way between Cheddar & Grana Padano—£24 kg‼️
Jan 19
We're unveiling our newest salad a try - The Kale Caesar - beautiful Red Russian Kale and Grana Padano cheese!
Jan 16
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Jan 15
Breaking down delicious wheels of Grana Padano! We love cheese #BBHG
Dec 18, 2014
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Dec 08, 2014
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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
Nov 23, 2014
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Nov 22, 2014
Are you ready for The Big Cheese!? Aged provolone, asiago, mozzarella, & freshly grated grana padano! #MeatlessWonder
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Nov 03, 2014
Turkey Meatballs over spaghetti w spicy tomato sauce & grana padano cheese. At Community Canteen Sunset Hills today!
Oct 24, 2014
Chicken, asparagus, roasted corn, chicken glacé sauce, pappardelle, grana padano cheese....
Oct 20, 2014
#Italianfood wakes up your senses #green as basil, #white as grana padano cheese, #red as tomato
Sep 23, 2014
Today @ #750Restaurant. Wild Mushroom Risotto w/ Roasted Portobello, Porcini, Wild Crimini & Grana Padano Cheese. $16
Sep 16, 2014
Brie, Feta, Grana Padano, Cheddar, Mascarpone, Gouda w/ apple, honey, mustard, crackers in the Cheese Tasting module.
Sep 10, 2014
Add black pepper, dried chilli, grana padano. Grana padano is cheese. It smells like feet, but tastes like god.
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