Type of Milk:
Italy, Po River Valley in Emilia Romagna
Monks in the Po Valley started making Grana Padano more than a thousand years ago and the same recipe is used today. The name "Grana" comes from the word grain and refers to the grainy texture of the cheese.
The recipe and process of making Grana Padano is protected by its P.D.O. status. P.D.O stands for Protected Designation of Origin and is a set of guidelines that insure the quality and authenticity of cheese sold under the name Grana Padano. The guidelines outline how the cheese is made and how long it is aged. Each wheel is tested for aroma and flavor before it can be branded with the P.D.O seal.
A natural rind is a rind that develops on the outside of the cheese as the wheel ages. Many semi-firm or hard cheeses have natural rinds. The rinds can be thin, like on some Cheddar cheeses, or thick, like on a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano.
Uses and Pairings:
The fruity, nutty flavor and rich texture of Grana Padano pairs well with a full-bodied, aromatic white wine or a big Italian red like Barolo. The saltiness of Grana Padano can pair well with dessert wines.
For cooking, Grana Padano can be used in any recipe that calls for a hard cheese.
How Nutritious is Grana Padano?According to the Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano: