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.