Almost 1,000 years ago, the Benedictine monks who farmed the land around the Po Valley in Northern Italy needed a clever solution to preserve the milk that wasn’t consumed right away by the local population. That solution was a long-ripened hard cheese named “grana” due to its grainy structure, so different from all other cheeses. This Italian delicacy is still produced following the same traditional methods today – with the name Grana Padano.
Grana Padano is recognised as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, which means that it is exclusively linked to the particular area in Northern Italy where it is produced and is inseparable from the climate, culture, and people that create it. The quality of every single wheel is checked to ensure complete consistency and the same distinctive taste.
Time is an essential ingredient in the production of Grana Padano. As the cheese matures, the aromas and flavours evolve. There are three different vintages of the cheese: Grana Padano (aged between nine and 16 months), Grana Padano ‘over 16 months’, and Grana Padano ‘RISERVA’ (over 20 months). The different maturation stages give it a versatility which make it ideal for a wide variety of recipes, as well as to be enjoyed on its own.
Today, Grana Padano is a choice ingredient in everything from canapés to desserts. While always a staple of authentic Italian cooking, it has become a popular part of more contemporary, inventive recipes created by celebrated international chefs and restaurants. It is now not only Italy’s favourite hard cheese, but the most consumed PDO cheese worldwide.