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Grana Padano

Grana Padano Vecchio

Country: Italy
Region: Parts of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, and 
Texture: Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 12-36 Months
Pasteurized: No

Grana Padano is an Italian, DOP, cow’s milk cheese. Its name is derived from the Italian word “grana” which translates as “grain” to describe its hard and grainy texture and “Padano” which refers to the “Val Padana”, the cheeses origin in the Po River Valley. The cheese was originally created in the 12th Century by Cistercian monks. It is a Parmesan cheese that most closely resembles Parmigiano Reggiano in appearances and in its method of production but the major differences are as follows:

1) Grana Padano is made only with skimmed milk whereas Parmigiano Reggiano is made with a mix of skim and whole milk
2) The cows used graze on different pastures, resulting in different diets that create subtle nuances in its flavor
3) The Protected Area of Origin for Grana Padano is larger than the area of Parmigiano Reggiano

There are three versions of this cheese based on how long it ages:

1) "Fresco" - Aged between 12 and 18 months
2) "Vecchio" - Aged between 18 and 24 months
3) "Stravecchio" - Aged between 24 and 36 months


Grana Padano on Foodista - A website devoted to cheese education
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