Food - Drink
A More Affordable Alternative To Parmigiano Reggiano
By STEPHANIE FRIEDMAN
Some cooks may not know that there's a huge difference between parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano. These cheeses seem similar, but true Parmigiano Reggiano is heavily regulated in Italy, making it very high-quality, but very expensive — here's a better, more flavorful substitute for Parmigiano that isn't sawdusty parmesan in a green shaker.
Grana Padano is a hard, pale yellow cheese that is made from semi-skimmed cow's milk and aged for about two years, and much like Parmigiano Reggiano, this cheese must come from a specific region in Italy. However, you don't have to break the bank for Grana Padano, which has a similar texture and flavor to Parmigiano for a better price.
Grana Padano comes from a larger region in Italy, which gives it a higher production rate, and its rules and restrictions are much looser, making it less laborious and less expensive than Parmigiano Reggiano. Grana Padano is a bit milder and sweeter than its pricier cousin, but that just makes it more versatile for any purpose you desire.