This is one of my new favorite cheeses, but in reality, it’s been around since the 12th century. Are retailers in the US now selling it? I don’t know, but all of a sudden Im seeing it everywhere. It’s softer than a hard Parmesan so it’s easier to use in recipes where you want a good “melt” factor. Though similar to parmesan cheese, the younger Grana Padano cheeses are less crumbly, milder and less complex in flavor than the better-known, longer-aged parmesan.
Parmigiano-Reggiano takes a minimum of 12 months to mature and has a stronger, more complex, nuttier and saltier taste than Grana Padano. For this reason Grana Padano is usually used in cooking, while Parmigiano-Reggiano is more often grated on top of a dish.
I’m in love.