Grana Padano 24 Months
Grana Padano is one of the oldest Italian and European cheeses, but today, on the plains situated at the foot of the Alps, in a land crossed by pure rivers that descend from the mountains, it is still produced respecting the tradition.
Grana Padano is one of the oldest Italian and European cheeses, being produced in the Pianura Padana in Northern Italy for almost 900 years now. Still today, Grana Padano is the most important cheese in Italy, even more important than the similar Parmigiano Reggiano.
Around the year 1000 the Cistercian monks of Chiaravalle reclaimed some areas of the Po Valley, creating land for cattle ranching. After a short time, there was a large availability of milk, a part of which was used to produce a cheese that could retain all the nutritional properties of milk even after aging. This is the origin of Grana Padano. Even today, on the plains situated at the foot of the Alps, in a land crossed by pure rivers that descend from the mountains, this cheese is produced respecting the tradition.
Both Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano are produced by using the evening milk and the morning milk of the cows. The two milks are mixed and then heated up to a temperature of 91° F before the bovine rennet is added to the milk. After that, the curd is broken up to granules of the size of a grain of rice and then gathered in the moulds which give the Grana Padano (and the Parmigiano Reggiano) its typical form.
Grana Padano aging period
Grana Padano can already be marketed after 9 months of aging, when it is still a little creamy and of a pale white color, therefore not suitable for grating yet.
When Grana Padano cheese is aged between 16 and 20 months it has a more pronounced flavor and a yellowish color. At this age it is the perfect grating cheese.
Grana Padano aged 24 months is denominated “Riserva” as it is the noblest form of this hard cheese. At this age, it is of a deep yellow color and obtains its typical grainy structure. Now, it is full flavored with a slightly bitter taste, just like its 36-month aged brother Parmigiano Reggiano.
Being DOP cheese (Protected Designation of Origin), Grana Padano is protected by which a Consortium which monitors and guarantees the characteristics and quality of the product, by means of regular visits and controls in farms and dairies.