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Grana refer to a family of hard, mature cheeses from Italy that have a granular, flaky texture and are mainly used for grating. Around the world, Grana is a generic term used to define three main varieties of grana cheese—Parmigianino-Reggiano, Grana Padano and Grana Trentino and other smaller variants like Granone Lodigiano, Trentingrana and Gransardo. However, in Europe, the word “Grana” is legally protected by Grana Padano Protected Designation of Origin, such that only Grana Padano can use the term to sell its produce in EU countries.

The most popular Grana Italian cheeses are of course Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano. True Parmigianino-Reggiano, named after the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua, in which it is made, has a hard, gritty texture and is fruity and nutty in taste.

Grana Padano, on the other hand, refers to the valley Pianura Padana in which it is made. Though similar to Parmigianino-Reggiano, young Grana Padano is slightly less crumbly, milder and less complex than its famous, aged kin. On the other hand, Grana Trentino follows the same method to produce Parmigianino Reggiano but is made in the province of Trento, giving it is name.

All three main varieties of Grana cheese carry the label D.O.P. (Denomination of Protected Origin), guaranteeing their authenticity and origin of production methods.

Other Italian cheeses:

Top photos from Twitter

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Feb 21
Italian chicken breast with Grana Padano cheese. Favorite if you want to see this in our cookbook #fitfam #gym #food
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Jan 30
Four Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip ~ Jack, Cheddar & Romano with spinach & artichoke topped with fresh Grana Padano.
Jan 30
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Jan 27
Can't beat freshly made pizza. This one is our Crudo with Proscuitto & Grana Padano cheese.
Jan 22
sautéed broccolini with chunks of grana padano cheese, pan fried honey ham and a mountain of scrambled eggies 🙌😍
Jan 18
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Jan 08
Cold weather dish! Whole wheat canestri with duck sausage & Grana cheese. #AMIS
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Roasted yellow tomato, ricotta and freshly grated grana padona cheese @shopsatprucntr #pizza
Dec 11, 2013
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Dec 04, 2013
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Dec 03, 2013
Grana, Pecorino, provolone, taleggio, rigatello and more - take your pick #buyonline #cheese #italianfood
Dec 02, 2013
Grana Padano Tasting 3-5 Dec 5.30-9pm. Enjoy the delicious cheese with your after work tipple just like the Italians!
Nov 17, 2013
my mid-afternoon snack: camembert, grana padano, bie, goat cheese, and aged cheddar. Inspiration: @12SecondStreet
Nov 15, 2013
Chicken Caesar Salad grilled chicken tenders | house Caesar dress. | Grana Padano cheese | olives | croutons #LNK
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