Grana Padano cheese

Curiosities

It was invented by the monks of Chiaravalle Abbey more than a thousand years ago. Grana cheese was prepared in the great cauldrons of the monasteries, the first dairies in history. In the Middle Age, farmers already called it ‘Grana’ because of the typical white grains of its paste. Considered a noble cheese at Renaissance banquets, it was also eaten in the countryside, especially during foodshortage, as a precious source of sustenance.

Aroma, color, taste

The golden rind is between 4 and 8 mm thick. The finely grained paste is straw yellow. And the flavor? It varies according to the age. Aged 9-16 months, it has a sweet taste and smells of milk and butter.

Over 16 months it is tasty but not sharp, with a scent of hay and dried fruit. Grana Padano Riserva, aged more than 20 months, has a rich and full flavor for special occasions.

Provolone Cheese

Curiosities

The spinning of the cheese, which is shaped in special molds, is very old and was brought to Northern Italy at the end of the 19th century by migrants from Southern Italy. Since then Provolone has been produced in the Padana Valley, where the quality of the milk and the plasticity of the paste has allowed the cheese makers to indulge in the most different shapes: the classic flask shape, alongside tangerine, melon, salami and truncated cone shapes, all in a wide variety of weights.

Aroma, color, taste

The rind is shiny, hard and thin and the color, depending on the age, can be straw yellow or brown. The paste, straw-colored or ivory, is semi-hard and compact with a few small holes for the mild type, hard with small cracks for the piquant variety. The mild provolone is aged no more than 2-3 months, it becomes sharp from 3 months to more than 1 year.

Butter

Curiosities

Making butter is one of the oldest methods of preserving milk fat. It was already being prepared in India at least 1500 years ago. Originally, in addition to cooking, it was used for the strangest things. The Romans used it for hairstyles, and in England and Scotland it was used to coat and protect the hulls of ships. The Egyptians, Greeks and Arabs also loved butter. In Italy it spread at the end of the Middle Age, first in Southern Italy, but then became the main dressing in the North.

The color of the butter depends on what the cows are fed. If the hay is rich in carotenes, it will tend to be yellow, otherwise it will be whiter. Good butter is recognizable by its shiny, compact appearance, fresh, soft smell and delicate taste.