Grana Padano PDO
Grana Padano is the best-selling PDO cheese in the world and one of the most loved in Italy. It was around the year 1135 that the Benedictine monks of the flat, fertile valley of the River Po in northern Italy created an original masterpiece: an absolutely unique recipe for transforming surplus milk into a fine, delicious cheese, with an intense Flavour that stood the test of time. Due to its “granular” structure, it was natural to call this cheese “Grana”. This is how Grana Padano, with its unmistakable flavor, was born and “Padano” from the Production Area.
NATURALLY LACTOSE FREE
Grana Padano is naturally lactose free due to the specific characteristics of its production and ageing process, which means that even people intolerant to lactose can assimilate it without problems, thus allowing them to benefit from the extraordinary nutritious content of milk and the properties of the cheese.
Several unique markings are found on each wheel of Grana Padano that guarantee its authenticity. A four-leaf clover stamp confirms the origin and includes the Province’s code and producer’s registration number. The pin-dot lozenges stamped on the rind are accompanied by the words «Grana» and «Padano». These marks ensure it is genuine Grana Padano – especially when the cheese has been cut into portions. At 9 months of ageing, each wheel undergoes strict tests for appearance, aroma and texture, before receiving the characteristic fire branding. This important step is carried out by an independent certification body and the Consortium’s technicians. The iron fire branded mark is applied only by the Consortium’s graders. Without it, a wheel cannot be named Grana Padano and is sold as generic hard cheese.
THE CONSORZIO AND THE PROTECTED DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN
Established in 1954, the Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano PDO cheese – Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano – is a non-profit organization that brings together producers and maturers to protect and promote Grana Padano PDO cheese in the world. It ensures that every wheel of cheese is made according to the Production Specifications so that it can be awarded its PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status and be fire-branded with the Grana Padano mark.