IL GRANA PADANO
Grana Padano origins date back to the second millennium, in the heart of lower Lombardy, in the area between the Po river in the south and Milan in the north, and bounded by the Adda (west) and Mincio (east) rivers. Even today it is still produced in the same area, according to the Grana Padano Consortium’s disciplinary. Twelfth century documents report hard and grainy cheese existence and production, to which was spontaneously given the name “grana”. Grana Padano PDO is produced from milk obtained from cows fed with fresh fodder, hay or preserved by silage. The product is obtained from raw milk, to which is added rennet, lysozyme, a protein extracted from egg white and salt; it has a sweet taste which becomes more complex with longer aging and its color is white or straw colored. Grana Padano aged at least 20 months becomes Grana Padano Riserva. The PDO product is branded with Grana Padano trademark.
A hard cheese, cooked and slowly matured, produced by coagulation through the action of rennet, from raw cow’s milk whose basic diet consists of green or preserved fodder, coming from two daily milkings, rested and partially skimmed by the natural surfacing of the cream. Only after an expert examination carried out by the technicians of the Consortium does it become branded Grana Padano, the forms that do not conform to the necessary qualitative requirements, are “screened”.
The Consortium and the protection of Grana Padano
In order to guarantee and protect this precious fruit of the Po Valley, in 1954 the Consortium for its protection was established and, almost at the same time, Grana Padano received the recognition of the denomination of origin (Presidential Decree n. 1269 of October 30, 1955). Today Grana Padano is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, in accordance with European Union regulation number 1107/96.
It is cold stamped on the cheese wheels by individual dairies, and consists of the following elements: the casein plate: inserted on the cheese wheel during moulding, it becomes one with the rind of the cheese; it bears the words “GRANA PADANO”, the identification codes of the cheese wheel, thanks to which the traceability of the product is precisely guaranteed, and the words GARANTITO dal MIPAAF (GUARANTEED by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies) pursuant to art. 10 of Regulation (EC) 510/2006. of Regulation (EC) 510/2006.