New in the Market: Grana Padano PDO Cheese

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on November 23, 2011 · 2 comments

We love to try new foods. Some are great. Some don’t measure up and some become staples in our kitchen. See what you think.

Grana Padano cheese was first produced nearly 1,000 years ago by Cistercian Monks in the Po Valley of northern Italy. These frugal monks were attempting to preserve their unused milk and stumbled upon a process that produced the world’s first hard cheese.

Grana Padano is named for its hard, grainy texture, “grana,” and the region of Italy where it is made, “Padana.” The cheese is still produced in Italy today in the same way it was made by the monks. You know you have original Grana Padano when the rind is branded with the Grana Padano seal. It is the best selling PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) cheese worldwide. PDO certification was established by the European Union in 1996, to assure the origin and quality of products.

When the cheese samples first arrived, we nibbled a little and must admit it was hard to stop nibbling. It is recommended that the cheese sit at room temperature for an hour to fully develop the sweet, nutty flavor. We paired it with fresh and dried fruit and shaved it over hot dishes. It is excellent and well worth a try.

A 1-ounce serving (1 ¼ inch cube) has 120 calories, 8 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated fat), 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 10 grams of protein, no carb, sugar or fiber, 400 milligrams of calcium (more than a glass of milk which has 300 milligrams) and 170 milligrams of sodium.

A good mail order resource for Grana Padano is

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Henk Jonker October 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

The reported value for cholesterol seems to be mistaken. Other source gives 109 mg per 100 gram of Grana Padano. This is much more (around double) than what Jo-Ann Heslin gives and is a serious reason to mind portions taken.


Jo Ann Heslin, RD October 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

The values provided came directly from the producer.


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