Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, two aged cheeses made with Italian bovine milk and processed raw with animal rennet, were both created in monasteries during the Middle Ages.
They are quite popular and usual, particularly in central-northern Italy. A common query among those who like matured Italian cheeses is undoubtedly how Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, both of which were designated as Officially Outstanding Products in 1951, differ from one another.
The two cheeses first seem to be identical in terms of size, shape, and other minor organoleptic characteristics—those that can be detected by the sense organs—as well as for their nutritional contents, which are comparable at the level of proteins, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
They both lack lactose. Therefore, it may be claimed that both cheeses’ technical milk-treatment methods are identical.
It begins with the natural surfacing method of skimming milk, the use of copper or copper-coated boilers with the recognisable inverted bell form, and the spinning method of cleaving curd clumps.
To provide a more thorough terminology explanation, it must be noted that in the past, any hard, grainy cheese made from cow’s milk was referred to as “grana” in family slang. With the subsequent establishment of the manufacturing standard, the word “grana” is now lawfully covered by Grana Padano DOP, the only officially recognised, across the European Union.
Contrary to Parmigiano Reggiano, which is made from a combination of decremented and whole milk, Grana Padano exclusively includes decremented milk, which undoubtedly affects the final flavour.
Grana Padano really has a more delicate flavour than Parmigiano Reggiano, which has a taste that tends to become stronger with time.
In Parmesan Cheese after a year, the delicate milk flavour is still detectable, albeit it tends to transform into a citrusy note as it ages, up until it reminds you of the more pungent dried fruit.
Finally, Grana Padano is less susceptible to change since it is aged for a shorter amount of time and has a deeper flavour of butter and fondant that is evocative of the unique flavours of broth and cooked vegetables.