Its unmistakable taste dates back to the 11th century in the Po Valley, a territory reclaimed by Cistercian and Benedictine monks, creators and keepers of the authentic recipe, which has remained unchanged to this day. This hard cheese, which retains all the nutrients of milk when aged, was called caseus vetus (“old cheese” in Latin) but it was later called “grana” cheese due to its granular structure. A fine food found on the tables of noblemen and royalty over different eras, Grana Padano also remained the principal food of peasants, especially during times of famine, thus functioning as a pillar of popular gastronomic tradition. The manufacturing tradition of Grana Padano cheese has been passed down over centuries following the same methods which still today ensure the organoleptic properties and appearance that have made this product famous throughout the world. The Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano (Consortium for the Protection of Grana Padano cheese) was established in 1954 and the cheese was awarded the Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Union in 1996. Today Grana Padano is the most widely sold PDO cheese in the world!