Grana Padano DOP cheese was born in the Middle Ages, around the year 1100. It is produced from raw milk of cows coming from certain provinces located along the river Po in the Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino -Haut-Adige and Emilia Romagna. Although most cite the birthplace provinces to be Lodi, Milano, Piacenza and Mantua.
While its original Latin name was “caseus vetus” , meaning “ancient cheese”, it developed its name “grana padano” from peasants who did not speak Latin. “Grana” signifies the distinct grainy texture of the cheese as well as the small calcium crystals created after the cheese-making process whereas “Padano” indicates where is it is from which is the “Val Padana” or the Po river valley.
Grana Padano DOP is a hard, slow maturing cheese with a straw yellow or white color.
There are three varieties of this cheese, each with different flavors depending on the ripening process:
From 9 to 16 months: The taste is delicate with a milky aroma and a creamy texture
Over 16 months : More pronounced flavors with aromas of fresh fruit and hay. The cheese begins to have its grainy texture
Over 20 months: Strong flavor with a grainy and crumbly texture.
The fully ripened Grana Padano DOP is perfect for use in soups, risottos or on its own!