So, I was a little disappointed when we got the first set of cheeses of the month (not just one, but three!) because a couple of them were stuff I’d had before.  For me, half the point was to try something NEW and DIFFERENT.  But, I will hold off on resignation in the hopes that they are easing into the cheese world gently in case any recipients are cheese newbies.

Grana Padano is the one cheese I got this time that I had not had before.  It is very similar to Parmigiano Reggiano.  According to the flyer that came with the cheese it’s “fruity overtones . . evoke pineapple or strawberry, depending on the season.”  Maybe it’s because its winter, but I wasn’t tasting it.  But, it does taste yummy.  I’d say it’s a little bit softer than parmesan, so its easier to slice for a sandwich or for melting on something.    Several slices make a nice contrast to a mesclun salad with balsamic dressing.

The particular ‘brand’ of Grana Padano I had was Stravecchio Oro Del Tempo, in which each wheel is “branded with a unique serial number.”  This step is apparently supposed to reassure you as to the strict testing to ensure that only the best cheese becomes “prime Grana Padano Stravecchio”, but to me it just sounds like souped-up PR talk.   

That said, it is definitely good cheese, but I’m not sure it’s different enough from Parmagiano to be worth going to a speciality cheese shop as opposed to picking up what’s available at the local supermarket.

I will report on the other January cheeses in the coming weeks.  Please, for my sake (and yours) let’s hope the February cheeses are a little more inspiring.