The Other “Grana”

Grana Padano:

Logo del Grana Padano Which is the real difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano?

Usually it is hard to answer this question and many people think that the differences in price is because of some undefinable higher quality of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The differences in quality do exist and and result from the conscious choices made by members of Consortium for the protection of Parmigiano Reggiano.

The diet of cattle producing milk for Grana Padano and for Parmigiano Reggiano are different: Grana Padano permits the sand the use of other low cost cattle feed products while this is not permitted in the case of the production of Parmigiano Reggiano.

This practice results in the bacteriological contamination of the milk that cannot be transformed into cheese without adding antibacterial agents.

The use of additives is forbidden in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Up to 1993, Grana Padano used formaldehyde in food products. The use of formaldehyde in food products is now forbidden because of its toxicity.

The use of additives in Grana Padano kills the bacteria that are naturally present in milk; this necessitates the addition of a less complex set of bacteria.

In the case of Parmigiano Reggiano all the naturally present milk bacteria (fermentation agents) are retained. During the maturation process they act to enhance the flavour, quality and health benefits of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Other Italian “Grana”:

Because of technology, there are new technological process for maturing cheese. One of those techniques is the ultra filtration. The milk is filtrated by synthetic membranes that are able to split the good and the bad bacteria thereby sterilizing the milk.

Obviously, thereafter, new bacteria has to be added to the milk to allow the milk to ferment and so mature.

With this technique are made some industrial “grana” which are usually sold in small pieces or grated.

Foreign Similar to Grana:

"Parmigiano" Argentino For a long time, cheese similar to Grana has been imported from other countries, like Germany, France and Austria.

Falso "Parmigiano" In addition, the last few years has witnessed increased importation of cheese similar to Grana from Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania.

These cheeses mentioned above are not usually sold in big pieces. They are most commonly sold in small pieces or grated in order to disguise their true origin and to create the impression that they are the genuine article. Very little is know about the production processes employed as are the safety and health standards...