Bearing strong resemblance to Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano is made throughout the Po River Valley in northeastern Italy. Produced from the raw cows' milk of two milkings, which is then partially skimmed, Grana Padano is cooked twice and bathed in brine before it is left to age. The resulting rind is firm, waxen and deeply straw-colored, protecting a fragrant, dry, flaking paste with sweet, nutty flavor that is never tangy. Grana means ''grain'' and, as the name implies, the cheese has a fine granular quality with a sweet, nutty little bite. Ours is aged for at least 20 months, and it's a great grate. If you're adding it to your cheese plate, try pairing with a Barolo, or an amber ale.
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