Difference between Grana and Parmesan

Difference between Grana and Parmesan

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Grain is Parmesanthere are undoubtedly twoexcellent cheeses, both hard and slow-ripening. Despite these similarities,Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggianothey are two different cheeses. What is thedifference between grana and parmesan?Let's see it together in this article.

Difference between grana and parmesan: here are the main differences betweenGrana PadanaisParmesan Cheese, two of the most famous cheeses in Italy.

Both are hard cheeses, both are seasoned, both have the DOP mark, are produced in overlapping geographical areas, share the same origins and above all, both are very tasty. So what's the difference between grana and parmesan?

Grana Padano

Grana Padano is an Italian PDO cheese ahard dough and slow ripening.

Where is Grana Padano produced?
The production regions are:

  • Emilia Romagna
  • Lombardy
  • Piedmont
  • Trentino Alto Adige
  • Veneto

With Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano cheese shares the structure of pasta, theprolonged seasoning, the use of the same production equipment andexclusive use of rennet of animal origin.

Grana Padano is produced in 32 provinces spread over five regional territories.

Parmesan Cheese

TheParmesan Cheeseis an Italian PDO cheese ahard doughand slow ripening.

Where is Parmigiano Reggiano produced?

  • Emilia Romagna
  • Lombardy
  • Piedmont

To produce both cheeses, calf rennet is mainly used.

Parmigiano Reggiano is produced in a more limited number of provinces, scattered in only three regions. The disciplinary for the production of these cheeses requires not only that the cheeses must be produced in the territorial provinces, but also theused milkfor production must come exclusively from the codified area of ​​origin.

When you buy a generic cheese, even if it is “Made in Italy” you don't know what kind of milk was used for the production. When you buy Grana or Parmigiano, on the other hand, you are sure that the milk was produced in Italy, in one of the provinces provided for by the DOP brand specification.

Difference between Grana and Parmesan

As is clear,Grana and Parmesanthey have a number of elements in common but are not devoid ofdifferences. It is abouttechnicalitiesthat on balance, they manage to do thedifference.Let's see together:

Feeding livestock and the repercussions on the product

For the production of the Grana Padano, livestock can feed on “ensiled fodder”, ie feed processed with a conservation technique known as ensiling. To feed dairy cows and obtain the intended for the production of Parmesan Cheesethe use of silage is prohibited. This distinction makes it necessary for theGrana Padano, the use of thelysozyme, a naturally occurring protein used as preservativeand extracted from the egg white of chicken eggs. TheParmesan Cheeseinstead, it is naturally devoid ofpreservatives. Lysozyme is the only additive used in Grana Padano.

Seasoning and branding

Seasoning can vary, however, there are standard times. In Parmesan Cheesetherebrandingit is done at 12 months. The product then follows more or less long aging:

  • 13 months (fresh Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 24 months
  • 30 months
  • 36 months
  • 70 months

With theGrana Padanothe marking takes place at 9 months. Consumption, therefore, occurs at:

  • 9 months (fresh Grana Padano)
  • 15 months
  • 20 months
  • ….

On the market there is “Grana Padano over 16 months” and “Grana Padano Riserva - over 20 months” of maturation. Grana Padano can also sufferseasoningvery long.

Storage and use of milk

As we said, for the production ofGrana and Parmesanonly Italian milk produced in the areas ofcontrolled origin. What changes, however, is the collection and conservation.

For theParmesanthere are more rigid constraints: the production of Parmesan can be carried out only once a day using milk from two collections. Milk cannot be stored at temperatures below 18 ° C.

In Grana Padano, a single milk collection can be carried out and refrigeration can reach a temperature of 8 ° C.

Bacterial starter

The bacterial starter is a product that is used to strengthen the microbiological process that leads to the production of cheese, as we know it! In the Grana Padano dairies, lactic acid bacteria isolated in the laboratory from natural whey grafting from the dairies can be used with a limit of 12 times a year. For Parmigiano Reggiano only natural whey is used.


There is also a cost difference for the final consumer. Parmigiano Reggiano has a higher price than Grana. Why does Parmigiano Reggiano cost more? For the greater constraints on production and because it is produced in less extensive territories.



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