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|Country of origin||Italy|
province of Piacenza
In addition to these main centres
|Source of milk||Cows|
|Aging time||8–20 months|
|Certification||Italy: DOC 1955|
EU: PDO 1996
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
Grana Padano is a cheese originating in the Po river Valley in northern Italy that is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There are fewer regulations governing its production compared to Parmigiano-Reggiano. This hard, crumbly-textured cheese is made with unpasteurized cows' milk that is semi-skimmed through a natural creaming process. To preserve the authenticity of the manufacturing processes and raw materials used to make this cheese, European Union law has protected the name Grana Padano under the protected designation of origin since 1996 (PDO).[A]
Origin of the name
Grana Padano was developed by monks of Chiaravalle Abbey in the 12th century. It can last a long time without spoiling, and is sometimes aged for 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.
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. 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 varies 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 the better-known, longer-aged Parmigiano.
About 150 factories make Grana Padano in the Po Valley area, and about 4.5 million cheese are manufactured.
A wheel of Grana Padano is cylindrical, with slightly convex or almost straight sides and flat faces. It is 35 to 45 cm (14 to 18 in) in diameter, and 15 to 18 cm (5.9 to 7.1 in) high. It weighs 24 to 40 kg (53 to 88 lbs) per wheel. The rind, which is thin, is pale yellow.
Grana Padano is sold in three different ripening stages:
- "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
Nutritional value and calories
1.5 litres of fresh, naturally partially-skimmed cows' milk from the production area, are needed to make 100 g of Grana Padano PDO cheese. The Grana Padano processing and ageing procedures determine an important bioavailability of vitamins and minerals, the supply of proteins with 9 essential amino acids and make it a highly digestible product. In addition, Grana Padano is lactose-free due to the characteristics of its production and ageing process, which also leads to a reduction of lipids. It contains a galactose content of less than 10 mg per 100 g.
The Grana Padano PDO Production Specifications regulates the entire production chain, from the cows' fodder to the branding of the wheels, therefore the average nutritional value and calories of Grana Padano PDO cheese remain stable and any variation in them is irrelevant for the purpose of defining a balanced diet.
100 grams of Grana Padano PDO cheese contain 398 calories.
Nutritional table for a medium portion of 100 grams of Grana Padano
|Total proteins||33 g|
|Total amino acids||6 g|
|Sugar (Carbohydrates)||<1 g|
|Calcium / phosphorus ratio||1.7|
|Vitamin A||224 µg|
|Vitamin B1||20 µg|
|Vitamin B2||0.36 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.12 mg|
|Vitamin B12||3.0 µg|
|Vitamin D3||0.5 µg|
|Vitamin PP||3.0 µg|
|Vitamin E||206 µg|
|Pantothenic acid||246 µg|
|SATURATED fat||18.4 g|
|MONOUNSATURATED fat||7.4 g|
|POLYUNSATURATED fat||1.1 g|
- "Grana Padano - Cheese.com". www.cheese.com.
- Donnelly, Catherine W., ed. (2016). The Oxford companion to cheese. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199330881. OCLC 947145356.
- Aspinwall, Martin; et al. (2009). Harbutt, Juliet (ed.). World cheese book (1st American ed.). London: DK. ISBN 978-0756654429. OCLC 298183484.
- "Parmigiano-Reggiano". sciencedirect.com. Elsevier. December 2018.
- Fox, P. F.; et al. (2000). Fundamentals of cheese science. Aspen Publication. ISBN 0834212609. OCLC 1016031218.
- "Grana Padano - Cheese.com". www.cheese.com. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- Gillingham, Sara Kate (October 8, 2008). "A Primer on Grana Padano". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grana Padano.|