Grana Padano DOP is a cheese at hard paste, done and slowly maturing. It is produced in the Po Valey, with just milked row semi-fat milk coming from stock-breeding of cows endemic illness free.
It is a DOP Italian cheese, Denominazione di origine protetta, meaning that the three essential phases of the food processing chain: breeding, milk processing into cheese and cheese maturing must only and absolutely take place in the origin area; hence only Italian milk joined to Italian tradition.
Cows are fed according to restricted rules, the proceed of milk takes place in copper cauldrons shaped as upside down turned bells, eachone suitable for two full shape unit. Natural whey graft is added to milk once it is in the copper cauldrons, to be then warmed up to reach a temperature of 31 to 33°C and added with calf rennet to get the curdling. Each full shape unit taken from the copper cauldron and put on the special table, closed into a specific round mould, once wood made, nowadays in suitable plastic material, carrying inside another plastic band, the brand band, in relief the origin marks: the four-leaved clover carrying the register number of the dairy, the initials of the province, the month and the year of production, as well as the small rhomboidal dotted lozenges inside which one must finds the words GRANA and PADANO in an alternative way. Besides each full shape unit is equipped with a casein plate meant to become part of the rind, with an identifying code enabling the consumer to trace the origin.
To get a full shape unit weighing 32 to 34 kg. about, one must employ 500 liters of milk coming to the dairy in one to two hours from the milking time. Milk must rest for 12 to18 hours: during this time it will release a part of the milk fat for emergence, this will be taken away so as semi-fat milk can give that very good long maturing cheese, keeping the taste of fresh milk.