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Grana Padano is a cheese originating in the Po River Valley in northern Italy that has similar characteristics to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but with fewer regulations.[1][2] This hard, crumbly textured cheese is made with unpasturized cow milk that's semi-skimmed through a natural creaming process. To preserve the authenticity of the manufacturing processes and raw materials used to make this cheese, the European Union law has protected the name Grana Padano under the protected designation of origin since 1996 (PDO).[1][3]

Grana Padano
Immagine 067.jpg
Country of originItaly Italy
Region, townEmilia-Romagna:
province of Piacenza

Lombardy:
provinces of Bergamo, Brescia Cremona, Lodi, Mantua (to the left of the Po), Milan and Pavia

Piedmont:
province of Cuneo

Trentino:
province of Trentino

Veneto:
province of Padua, Verona
Vicenza, Rovigo and Treviso,

In addition to these main centres
production is permitted in Emilia Romagna: province of Bologna
(to the right of the Reno), Ferrara, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena. and Rimini
Lombardy: provinces of Como,
Lecco, Sondrio and Varese
Piedmont: provinces of Alessandria,
Asti, Biella, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola,
Novara, Turin and Vercelli

Veneto: province of Venice
Source of milkCows
PasteurisedNo
TextureHard
Aging time8–20 months
CertificationItaly: DOC 1955
EU: PDO 1996
Commons page Related media on Wikimedia Commons

Contents

Origin of the nameEdit

The name comes from the Italian word grana, a reference to the characteristically grainy texture, and the demonym padano, referring to (cheese from) Padania.

HistoryEdit

Grana Padano was developed by monks of Chiaravalle Abbey in the 12th century.[3] It can last a long time without spoiling, sometimes aging up to two years. It is made in a similar way to the Parmigiano Reggiano of Emilia-Romagna but over a much wider area and with different regulations and controls.[1]

Some of the producers operate large operations. The herd produces capacious quantities of cow manure, and a byproduct is the Shit Museum, which promotes eco-friendly recycling.[4]

Production processEdit

Like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano is a semi-fat hard cheese which is cooked and ripened slowly for at least nine months. If it passes quality tests, it is fire-branded with the Grana Padano trademark. The cows are milked twice a day, the milk is left to stand, and then partially skimmed.[5] Milk produced in the evening is skimmed to remove the surface layer of cream and mixed with fresh milk produced in the morning. The partly skimmed milk is transferred into copper kettles and coagulated; the resulting curd is cut to produce granules with the size of rice grains, which gives the cheese its characteristic texture, and then warmed to 53–56 °C (127–133 °F). It is produced year-round and the quality can vary seasonally as well as by year. Though similar to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the younger Grana Padano cheeses are less crumbly, milder and less complex in flavor than their better known, longer-aged relative.[1]

There are about 150 factories that make Grana Padano in the region of Po River Valley and an estimate of 4.5 million cheese are manufactured.[6]

SpecificationsEdit

A wheel of Grana Padano is cylindrical, with slightly convex or almost straight sides and flat faces. It measures 35 to 45 cm (14 to 18 in) in diameter, and 15 to 18 cm (5.9 to 7.1 in) in height. It weighs 24 to 40 kg (53 to 88 lbs) per wheel. The rind, which is thin, is pale yellow.[7]

Grana Padano is sold in three different ripening stages:[8]

  • "Grana Padano" (9 to 16 months): texture still creamy, only slightly grainy
  • "Grana Padano oltre 16 mesi" (over 16 months): crumblier texture, more pronounced taste
  • "Grana Padano Riserva" (over 20 months): grainy, crumbly and full flavoured
 
After nine month of aging, each wheel gets checked and, if considered of adequate quality, gets fire-branded with the Grana Padano logo

Grana padano cheese typically contains cheese crystals, semi-solid to gritty crystalline spots that at least partially consist of the amino acid tyrosine.

ControversyEdit

In May, 2016, the Grana Padano consortium filed a legal action against the producers of the U.S. television soap opera series The Bold and the Beautiful for a scene wherein it was claimed the product was disparaged.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Grana Padano - Cheese.com". www.cheese.com.
  2. ^ "Parmigiano-Reggiano - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics". www.sciencedirect.com.
  3. ^ a b Donnelly, Catherine W., ed. (2016). The Oxford companion to cheese. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199330881. OCLC 947145356.
  4. ^ Anderson, John (August 31, 2015). "The Shit Museum offers a sustainable view on the science and art of dung". Gizmag. New Atlas. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  5. ^ "Parmigiano-Reggiano". sciencedirect.com. Elsevier. December 2018.
  6. ^ Fox, P. F.; et al. (2000). Fundamentals of cheese science. Aspen Publication. ISBN 0834212609. OCLC 1016031218.
  7. ^ "Grana Padano - Cheese.com". www.cheese.com. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  8. ^ Gillingham, Sara Kate (October 8, 2008). "A Primer on Grana Padano". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Vogt, Andrea (24 May 2016). "Italian Grana Padano producers sue US soap opera over scene inferring it's a poor man's Parmesan". Daily Telegraph. Bologna. Retrieved 10 September 2016.

External linksEdit