The Grana Padano Dop, the cheese par excellence. Of ancient origin and with the aromatic power with which it stands out, it has become an emblem with unique characteristics which, combined with food and drink, has always provided intense sensations. Its fame, consolidated in Padania, its homeland, is handed down among the Renaissance banquets of princes and dukes. A real real cheese. But do you know that it was a gift worthy of a noble family in the sixteenth century? It was really Isabella D'Este, marquise of Mantua and wife of Francesco II di Gonzaga to have one delivered for his family, the illustrious lords of the Duchy of Ferrara.
But if already in the '500 the Grana Padano enriched the tables of the nobles, representing a food of great wealth, why not honor it even today, especially during the holidays. Playing with the most daring and sophisticated combinations we can obtain truly unusual but certainly delicious and original tastings.
Raise your hand if you do not have a home by now Grana Padano Dop ready to bring to the table, a product with such a pleasant and versatile taste and able to always give new pleasures to the palate. The absolute star of aperitifs and pre desserts.
Are you curious to know its seasoning? We have chosen three in particular, three of the most emblematic and widespread ages of Grana Padano PDO. A 12 months, an 18 and a 24 Riserva that, on our test benches, each of them has found the perfect couple with whom to happily go to a wedding, between combinations with vegetables, chocolate, dried fruit, cold cuts, ideas will not fail to create impeccable tastings leaving your guests speechless.
A delicate 12 months
If you are keen on a more delicate taste in which to savor a soft paste with a short taste persistence, we recommend a Grana Padano Dop 12 months, always accompanying it with something sweet but also crunchy, in line with this younger cheese, thus creating a pleasant contrast. An ad hoc example is a carrot cut into wedges, which dyed in a slightly fruity oil like a Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lakes Lombardi Dop, creates an impeccable combination, continuing to make the delicate flavor of Grana Padano feel on the palate.
Another perfect combination is that with the Cuneo DOP raw ham, which, combined with a sweet apple as the Piedmontese Renetta grigio from Torriana, becomes the right solution for a pre-Christmas aperitif. If, on the other hand, you feel the need to rediscover a distinctly sour but certainly genuine and versatile flavor, you can accompany your Grana Padano with the traditional balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia Dop, perhaps combining it with fennel. Always choose the sweeter one with an anise-like taste, so that all flavors can be in harmony.
But what about a pre-dessert? Have you ever experienced the Grana Padano Dop 12 with the White chocolate? Absolutely to try. Buttery and malleable it is perfectly related to it. As well as the delicate scent ofWilliams pear spirit, which, not being excessively alcoholic, reminds us of the famous refrain between cheese and pears, marrying with the sweet notes of white chocolate but without ever dominating the flavor of Grana Padano.
18 months, fragrant and intense
With a complex, buttery scent. Known for an aroma reminiscent of dried fruit and hay, the Grana Padano Dop 18 months it can become the best friend of those who need something tastier and more crumbly. On the palate, a less evident sweetness is perceived and savory notes come forward. And here, along with it, the hazelnuts, that tasted together with Pair of Ferrarese IGP, the so-called “ciupèta”, you will awaken all your senses. Also excellent for pairing with a second dish. We therefore suggest that you try your hand at preparing the Priest's hat, a classic of Italian culinary culture, which garnished with the Voghera mustard with pumpkin it's ours Grana Padano Dop 18, will be your starred chef proof recipe.
"Don't let the farmer know how good cheese is with pears", as the old proverb used to say, but also Grana Padano with clementines and Veneto Berico Euganeo PDO raw ham 24 months, not joking at all. Thanks also to the juicy and turgid winter fruit this trio is scream-proof.
Grana Padano Dop Riserva: strong aromas and crispness
Last but certainly not least, indeed. Ideal for special occasions and gourmet palates, here is the ready to serve Grana Padano Dop 24 months Riserva, with a rich and full but never aggressive taste, always fragrant but at the same time also delicate. In short, the ideal seasoning to procure intense pleasure. To best accompany these characteristics, the choice falls on a medium fruity oil, the Extra Virgin DOP Canino, with marked herbaceous aromas, with a marked bitter and spicy aftertaste, useful for supporting the gustatory vigor and not covering the qualities of Grana Padano Dop. To meet the expectations but always guaranteeing a strong, aromatic and persistent taste is the white celery from Sperlonga Igp, which we love to feel the crunchiness under the teeth.
"Bread and nuts, wedding food" was said so right? But we suggesting the combination of Grana Padano Dop 24 with the softness of nuts combined with the intensity of Altamura Dop bread, we guarantee not only a wedding with all the trimmings, but a true eternal love.
Finally, do you want some advice for the New Year's Eve dinner? Serve our Grana Padano Riserva on the table, accompanied by Cotechino Vanilla adorned by the Cherries Cremonese mustard. A typically Lombard course, this is a holiday treat loved by Italians, worthy to start a year as a gourmet.
Of Elena Strappa