Grana is actually a category of cheese describing Italian cheeses that are hard, aged, and have a “grainy” texture. One of the most popular Italian cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano, falls under this category. So do Grana Padano cheese and Grana Trentino.
What is the difference between Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano?
Grana Padano cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are both in the same family, so they do have similar characteristics. However, Grana Padano is not as sharp, salty or crumbly as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It has a slightly milder flavor, though it also possesses the same kind of nutty taste. Grana Padano cheese is made in Northern Italy in the Po River Valley, and must be aged for at least nine months. It is also naturally a lactose-free cheese.
How should I eat Grana Padano cheese?
Grana cheeses are typically used for grating over meals. They can also be paired with fruit, nuts and honey, as well as bold red wines and dessert wines.