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Grana Padano - 1st Aug 2013


Both Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano hail from northern Italy and while some may consider Grana Padano to be the poorer cousin of  Parmigiano-Reggiano, I beg to differ.

Grana itself is a great cheese in its own right. I find it more refined, a bit creamier, less nutty and not as salty compared to Parmigiano. Due to these characteristics, Grana is better suited for use in delicate flavoured dishes, like on risotto or when you don't want to overpower a dish.

Grana Padano is made from both skim and whole milk while Parmigiano Reggiano is made only from skim milk. The cows that supply the milk to make Grana are less restricted in their diet and are allowed to eat silage in their feed while the cows that supply the milk to make Parmigiano  must be fed fresh or dried vegetable matter. Cows on different diets certainly produce milk of different flavours and this explains the difference in flavour between the two cheeses.

Grana Padano can be made in five regions north of the Po River in northern Italy (Padano basically means the Po River Valley) while Parmigiano-Reggiano can only come from the cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. Because the areas producing Grana Padano are bigger in totality, it is therefore cheaper than Parmigiano-Reggiano, but as said earlier, not necessarily inferior.

Grana Padano is available at our Online Butchery at $4.50/ 100g.

 

~ Thomas Kreissl
General Manager (Retail)

 

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