Friday, April 16, 2010

The Cheese Of Grana Padano

This small factory in the Emilia Romagna Region of Italy produces a cheese that is very similar to that pf Parmagianno Reggiano. This is because if this particular cheese factory were to be moved a few Kilometers to the east it would be Parmagianno Reggiano. But because of the DOP and they use a bit less salt in the brining process they cannot be Parmagianno. Everyday they turn 30,000 liters of milk into about 3,000 Kilos of this beautiful chees they spend about a day letting the whey leak out the harvested curds in round forms with marble tiles laid on top of them they are flipped about every 4 hours or so before they are mover to a separate room wrapped with a mold that imprints the label into the skin of the cheese with the company logo, the the factories number(Grana Padano is a cooperative with over a hundred such factories, for Grana Podano is the largest DOP region in Italy), the Batch of Milk that the Cheese came from and the Month and Year the Cheese was made. This lable is pressed into the cheese as still more whey is pressed out then it is left to air dry for another day or two before it goes into the Brining tanks a 25% solution of Mineral salt in pure water for 20 days then it is places on huge shelves nineteen shelves high with room for about 50+ wheels of cheese per shelf where it is aged for up to 3 years was the oldest that we saw. Then our Guide grabbed one of the wheels off the shelf from 2008 and we went into the tasting room. He knocked on the cheese with a small hammer listening for impurities and when he was sufficiently pleased that the cheese was of good quality he set about the task of cutting into the wheel no easy feat considering it weighs abot 30 Kilos and was the size of his upper torso. But the Cheese was amazing as he made small stabs into the cheese it Calved like an delicious salty glacier. The hunks of cheese usually only used for grating and seasoning was simply amazing. Putting a drizzle of honey over a chunk before popping it in to you mouth was sheer bliss. Funniest part the factory was called Latteria soc Stallone. Stay Tuned.

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