Grana Padano, one of Italy’s most popular cheeses, is a cow’s milk cheese produced in Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, and the Veneto. Grana refers to the grainy, crumbly texture of the cheese and Padano refers to its area of origin, Italy’s bread-basket, the fertile Po River Valley. This hard, straw-colored cheese has a delicate taste and sweet, nutty flavor. This cheese was first produced in the early part of the second century and became increasingly popular through the 1400s. Grana Padano, bears a strong resemblance to Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmigiano Reggiano is also a member of the “Grana” family of cheeses). Aged 16-20 months, this Grana Padano is just as versatile and is best enjoyed in similar ways. Perfect as a grating cheese, it can be used as an ingredient in cooking and also enjoyed straight with fruit and nuts or alongside a variety of antipasti.