The Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano Consortia recently announced the first-ever, historic partnership to advance understanding and usage of their two authentic Italian cheeses. A launch event was held at Madison Square Garden earlier this spring.
Buonitalia SpA, the Rome-based governmental agency dedicated to promoting authentic Italian food and wine products around the world, is underwriting the co-promotion. Buonitalia SpA is an agency of Italy’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry policies.
Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, united by their EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, share a common cause: to promote their quality cheeses against imitation and â€˜Italian soundingâ€™ products. The promotion will educate American consumers via a national in-store demo program that will offer tastings and other activities such as cooking demonstrations and seminars.
Tasting Demos in Supermarkets Across the USA
The promotion will take place in leading supermarket chains across the country including Costco, Whole Foods and Wegman’s. Approximately 30 chains will be involved with more than 1,500 total stores and 30,000 + sampling days. The promotion began in mid-April and runs through June, 2011.
Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano are both hard, aged cow’s milk cheese from northern Italy. In production for nearly a thousand years, these cheeses express the unique culture and traditions of Italian agriculture and cuisine. Both are healthy, natural products, produced through the efforts of dairy farmers, cheese makers, and cheese agers and are produced according to strict production standards in controlled cheese-making districts supervised by their respective Consortia.
Parmigiano Reggiano, called the Masterpiece of Parmesan,â„¢ can only be produced within the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena in their entirety and in the province of Bologna to the west of the Reno River as well as the province of Mantua to the east of the Po River. It is produced from the partially-skimmed milk of grass-fed cows through a handmade process free of additives and preservatives.
After a minimum of 12 months of aging it is inspected and stamped with the Consortium’s certification mark. Then it is returned to the aging facility where it ages for 24 or more months. Rich in protein and calcium, Parmigiano Reggiano has a slightly crystalline texture and melts on the tongue into buttery and fruity notes. It is used to enhance the flavor of soups, grated over pastas, shaved onto main dishes, and served in chunks with aperitifs, fresh and dried fruits.
Grana Padano, the best selling PDO cheese in the world, is produced in five different Italian Regions. It is made from local raw, partially-skimmed milk and aged from 9 to 24 months and up. Only the cheese matching all the strict quality standards of the Consortium are sealed with the fire brand â€˜Grana Padanoâ€™ visible on the crust of each wheel. Lower in fat and lactose-free, with a sweet, nutty taste, Grana Padano has a characteristic grainy consistency (â€˜granaâ€™ means grainy in Italian) that increases along with the aging process. It can be grated over pasta, served as an â€˜antipasto,â€™ incorporated into recipes or simply enjoyed in chunks as part of a fresh, easy, delicious and healthy meal.