4 Grana Padano facts you probably didn’t know

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4 Grana Padano facts you probably didn't know

We bet you’ve added a heap of grated Grana Padano to pasta, pizza, maybe even fries, but how much do you know about this classic Italian cheese? From it’s origins in Italy’s Po River plain over a 1000 years ago to how to enjoy it today here are a few facts you probably didn’t know about Grana Padano cheese.

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With over 4 million wheels sold every year, Grana Padano is now the most widely-consumed PDO (protected designation of origin) cheese in the world. Grana Padano is known for its unmistakable flavour and aroma, making it the king of the table, to be savoured in a thousand ways from antipasti to desserts.

1. Grana Padano is aged from a minimum of 9 months

The differing flavours of Grana Padano come from the ageing process. Depending on the length of the ageing process, the colour, flavour and aroma can all change. It can be aged for a minimum of 9 months and even longer. Grana Padano cheese that is aged for over 20 months is referred to as Grana Padano Riserva.

2. Grana Padano is best stored at 4ºC

We recommend not storing it alongside other strong-flavoured cheeses as this may compromise the integrity. Wrap in a cotton tea towel to prevent the texture from drying out. The tea towel must be moist, clean and with no odours from detergents. If that seems like too much effort, a freezer bag will do.

ALSO READ: 4 inspiring Grana Padano recipes

3. Grana Padano can be eaten in many different ways

The dominant aromas in Grana Padano are butter, grass, and nuts, which become even more complex and harmonious when aged longer. Serve it grated or as an addition to starters. It can also be served in chunks or flakes on cheeseboards and served with fortified wines such as port and sherry, dessert wines, or full-bodied reds. Ultimately, its flavour and various ageing processes make this cheese versatile enough to be enjoyed in a range of dishes.

4. Grana Padano is instantly recognisable.

Diamond shapes and the Grana Padano logo are fired-branded onto the entire cheese rind to guarantee that the cheese is identifiable even when sold in smaller wedges and portions. The PDO branding will also be on the packaging, making it easily recognisable. In September 2022, a re-styled logo was been introduced on Grana Padano packaging. If the PDO branding is not there, it is not Grana Padano.

ALSO READ: 4 ways to amp up veggies using Grana Padano

Now that you’re a Grana Padano ‘expert’, it’s time to cook with this popular cheese. Here’s what we’re currently making and loving:

Grana Padano eggs

Inspired by the TikTok feta eggs, Grana Padano will add something extra to your morning fry-up. The cheese melts and hardens to form the perfect base for sunny-side-up eggs. Serve with slices of avo, some greens and toast or on a wrap.

Get the recipe for Grana Padano eggs here.

Grana Padano and chorizo scones

Perfect for breakfast or brunch (or midday snack), these scones are flakey and buttery. We’ve cut corners by using store-bought scones mix which makes this recipe extra foolproof. The chorizo compliments the Grana Padano well while the Grana Padano and honey butter adds a hint of sweetness. 

Get the recipe for Grana Padano and chorizo scones here.

Grana Padano potato boulangère

If the super crispy bits are your favourite part of a potato bake, you’ll love this recipe. Standing the potato slices up in a baking dish results in a potato bake that’s crispy and crunchy on top, while the bottom half steams and softens. Since the weather is heating up, we’ve gone for chicken stock over a creamy or bechamel to keep things light. Sprinkle a generous amount of Grana Padano on top before baking. 

Get the recipe for Grana Padano potato boulangère here.

Photography: Jan Ras
Recipes: Brita du Plessis
Food assistant: Josh van Zyl

Find more cheese recipes here. 

With its crystal-like, crumbly texture and mild, delicate flavour, it’s no mystery why Grana Padano is so popular. Its consistently excellent quality is due to each wheel being examined at nine months by an impartial technician from the official Consortium of Grana Padano. Only after this does a wheel of Grana Padano receive its iconic firebrand – your guarantee of authenticity and exceptional flavour. 

Learn more about Grana Padano here. 

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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