Leading in the number of PDO cheeses, Bergamo has 9 PDO cheeses, the highest number from a single area. Formai de Mut, Taleggio, Bitto, Grana Padano, Gorgonzola, Quartirolo Lombardo, Provolone Valpadana, Salva Cremasco and the more recent addition, Strachitunt are the 9 PDO cheeses from Bergamo.
One of the most popular cheeses from the list is Grana Padano. Its name encompasses the history of the cheese, dating it back to its roots. “Grana” means grainy in Italian, pointing to the texture of the cheese, and Padano refers to its production area “Pianura Padana” which is the Po River Valley in northern Italy.
Grana Padano, known for its perfectly round shape is produced from raw milk to which rennet and lysozyme are added, and salt is added as a final step. Each wheel of Grana Padano is instantly recognisable by the marks on it which are a symbol of its quality and origin. A naturally lactose-free cheese, the Grana Padano is created through a slow natural ageing process is specifically designed maturation houses where the temperature is regulated to stay between 15 to 22 degrees celsius.
Each wheel of Grana Padano is aged for a minimum of 9 months and maybe aged for more than 20 months to produce the Grana Padano PDO Riserva, a vintage cheese of indisputable quality. Grana Padano aged between 9 to 16 months has a delicious taste with a milky flavour, whereas cheese aged between 16 to 20 months is tasty but not overpowering with an aroma of hay and dried fruit.
Grana Padano is an ideal cheese for everyone due to its nutritional properties, making it a healthy choice. It features a high-value biological protein content and provides the amino acids supply useful for bodily movement at the muscular level.
Recent scientific studies have shown that the 12-month matured Grana Padano PDO is helpful in the treatment of hypertension, reducing and normalising blood pressure in people with high blood pressure issues. It contains various protein fragments- bioactive oligopeptides that are capable of modulating the physiological functions of the body.
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