Grana Padano vs Parmigiano-Reggiano
What is the difference between Grana Padano and Parmigiano-Reggiano?
Is Grana Padano the same thing as Parmigiano-Reggiano? No, though they are similar. Both are hard, semi-aged, cow’s milk cheeses from Northern Italy.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is made from whole and skimmed milk, while Grana Padano is made from only partially skimmed milk. Grana is aged between 9–30 months and has a more delicate, less salty flavor.
Meaning grainy (grana) from the Po River valley (Padana), authentic Grana Padano can be produced in five regions north of the Po River, while true Parmigiano-Reggiano can only come from five specific cities. Because there are more areas that produce Grana Padano, it’s cheaper, which is why it’s often thought of as Parmigiano-Reggiano’s knock-off.
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