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May 18, 2013 07:14 PM

Gran Padano Boasting- an Oxymoron?

<Hand Made Ricotta Cavatelli
asparagus, ramps, crimini mushrooms, grana padano>

Here in the Boston area, I am noticing Gran Padano mentioned on "just about every menu" in the smaller artisinal/chef-owned bistros around town. Are you seeing the same trend? I've had Gran Padano; I like it but would always pay for a premium Parm over GP.
But it feels funny to me that chefs would declare it on their menus. It feels like they are advertising a 'second rate' and cheaper ingredient, admitting that they didn't want to afford a good Parm. Does it seem odd to you? I know i'm sure to learn somethng from your responses; tia.

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  1. I think you're right in thinking Grana Padano is a lesser cheese, but only in price. I usually have both on hand and enjoy them both.

    2 Replies
    1. re: grampart

      I've enjoyed this cheese for many years before this new craze hit. I prefer it, as well. I feel parm can be a little too bold in some dishes, so GP is great for flavor without overtaking a dish. IMO, of course.

      1. re: liza219

        .....and it does' t hurt my wallet as bad (for now, at least!).

    2. The only reason Grana Padano is consistently lower-priced than even a mediocre PR is that the foodie-sheep-types have thus far mostly not yet discovered it. It's where skirt steak was 30 years ago before everyone found out about it and the price tripled.

      Grana Padano is an entirely respectable cheese, one that has its own merits and uses, and I'm happy to see more chefs using it where applicable. The idea that it's merely a cheap knockoff is incorrect.

      1. I only heard of gran padano after samping it at Costco a few months back and it's a great cheese out of hand. I actually prefer it over parm when eating it off a cut.

        1. Oxymoron? What is contradictory or incongruous about gran padano being used by chefs/in restaurants? It is a fine cheese to boot.

          1. ha ha, I was about to ask:
            <does anyone have a sense about what makes it different from parm? milk, region, size of producer, aging process? it seems to have that same 'shale-like' geological structure as aged Gouda and Parm.... I wonder if any parm producers also make GP, or maybe GP is a big marketing venture by a consortium of parm producers...>

            but then I found this! :

            ad hoc ad loc quid pro quo
            so little time and so much to know