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Reggiano vs. Grana Padana

  • Davwud Mar 23, 2007 12:58 PM
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So, is there a difference?? Other than price of course.

I just bought a hunk of Reggiano. I ususally buy GP since it's cheaper and I like it. I decided to see if it was worth paying more.

DT

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  1. so...you have it, what do you think?
    I never had GP, but I like parm-reggiano

    1. Grana taste a litte sweeter then reggiano. They are both made with cows milk and age the same way and also under the same quality control of Italy. I think Grana is great over risotto.

      1. Seems to be a fairly big difference in richness of flavor. I largely use GP for everyday use, but always use Reg when cooking any kind of a special meal.

        1. Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano are the same type of cheese: grana. Parmigiano Reggiano is just considered to be the best grana. Grana is produced throughout northern Italy and most families use it in lieu of Parmigiano (less expensive, same cheese).

          1. Did you taste a difference? If not, then no need to spend the extra money.

            Here's a link to an earlier discussion you might find helpful.
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/302060

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              If you're grating it the difference is almost undetectable. If you're eating it by itself, most people like parmigiano best. But again, pamigiano IS grana. It could just as easily be called "grana parmigiana."

            2. Okay.

              I had a little bit of grated GP in the fridge so I did a side by side comparison. I found the PR to be a lot smoother or refined. The GP had more discernable bite to it. That could be because I've had it for a few months. It also seemed to have some crystals in it.

              Dt

              2 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                Interesting. The crystals are actually a trademark of grana. It sounds like your grana padano was aged longer than your parmigiano (or fresher). Check the age on the PR. Is it the one year?

                1. re: mangiatore

                  Right. What's missing from this comparison it the relative ages/grades of the cheeses. For example, the PR is buy (at Costco) is aged 36 months -- it's darker in color and has a lot more crystals than less aged cheese.

              2. Both are types of Grana cheases regulated by separate sets of rules set by "Consorzi". The main difference is that cows producing Parmigiano-Reggiano eat only grass and cereals, and no antibiotics. If a cow is cured by antibiotics she will be suspended from production. Grana Padano cows are fed sileage, which is fermented, and their milk require the addition of a natural preservative to prevent spoilage.

                Chemical analysis shows that Parmigiano is a natural source of and has a higher concentration of Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is a flavor-enhancer. Even greeted it will make the difference by bringing out the food's flavor.

                The difference might be mild for novices, but it is praised by connoisseurs. At the top of the scale, a small improvement can be expensive.

                1 Reply
                1. re: smarchesini

                  This is a really interesting article. Says Grana Pandano is not of lesser quality but the region is larger resulting in larger production than Parmigiano. http://tinyurl.com/4yuad7

                2. To me GP is far more salty. Too salty for me. And it is not quite as good chiseled off the block and scarfed down with wine while slaving away in the kitchen.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    I'm going to try to get my hands on some GP, if it's saltier then I think that's great because somehow I think PR needs more salt, it's just not to my taste and I love cheese! I prefer a more local traditional turkish/egyptian dry cheese which has a little more salt, sharpness and less "creaminess"

                    1. re: BamiaWruz

                      Like everything, there are varying levels of quality. I've had some P-R, of questionable origin, that wasn't too good. On the other hand, I had some G-P from DiPalo in NYC last year that was outstanding. I'll often grate a little of each together to put on pasta, etc. to get some of the characteristics of each.