My luck came in the other week when I was offered to review some Prosciutto di San Daniele & Grana Padano. Yes! Cheese and meat blogger. The ultimate goal.
Prosciutto di San Daniele & Grana
Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano Cheese have been recognised by the European Union as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products since 1996. To achieve this status, they have to respect strict product specifications:
- Clear boundaries of the geographical area of origin of both the products and the raw materials
- Production methods following the traditional recipe
- Clear labels indicating where and when the products were made
- Quality and authenticity certification by independent and neutral accredited certifying bodies
- High quality physical and organoleptic characteristics
Prosciutto di San Daniele is natural, Italian and unique as it is made only with selected thighs from Italian pigs, sea salt and the special microclimate of San Daniele del Friuli. No types of additive or preservatives are used. San Daniele del Friuli is the perfect place for curing prosciutto. The breezes from the Adratic Sea and Alps help to keep it at the perfect temperature.
Prosciutto di San Daniele is produced using only pigs that are born and reared in Italy. The fresh thighs are rigorously inspected and only those that meet the requirements of the Production Specifications are selected for processing. They are “trimmed” using special cuts to make them suitable for ideal ageing.
The thighs are left salted for as many days as they weigh in kilos. Then, the thighs undergo pressing, which allows the salt to penetrate deeply and gives them their traditional “guitar” shape. The thighs are left to rest hanging in a special room for the drainage of the thighs and their optimal maturing.
After resting, the thighs are washed with warm water to remove the salt and the kept in an environment where they are then dried and acclimatised.
Inspections are conducted thirteen months after the beginning of processing. Only the prosciuttos that satisfy all the requirements.
Prosciutto di San Daniele is completely natural: it is made exclusively with meat from Italian pigs and sea salt, it has neither additives nor preservatives.
It is an excellent source of proteins and vitamins, in particular, B1 and minerals, especially phosphorus, zinc and potassium. It is recommended for everyone for its high nutritional value and easy digestibility.
Grana Padano Cheese
Benedictine monks invented the recipe for Grana Padano Cheese as a way to preserve surplus milk back around 1,100AD. It soon became a highly esteemed prize ingredient at Renaissance banquets held by princes and dukes, as well as being a main source of nourishment for people in rural areas.
It’s made has been handed down unchanged through the centuries, ensuring that the product has the same characteristics, flavour, aroma and texture.
Grana Padano Cheese is made from raw cow̕s milk from the production area, originating from no more than two daily milkings and only produced in cheese dairies authorised by the certification body. The milk, which has been partially skimmed by natural surface skimming, is placed in traditional copper vats to which whey produced by the previous cheese-making process, and the rennet are added. Coagulation is a fundamental stage that creates a stiff curd which is finally chopped and manually broken down by an instrument called ‘spino’. This is the main step in order to obtain the typical granular texture of the cheese.
Two days after the cheese has been produced, having now obtained a cylindrical shape in the moulds, it is immersed in brine, a solution
Once the wheels have been taken out of the brine, they are transported to rooms where the temperature is 35 °C and the wheels are gently ventilated for some hours. Once dried, they are transferred to the ageing warehouse and left to rest for nine months at 15–22 °C. During this period of time, the wheels are checked, cleaned and turned approximately every fifteen days.
After nine months the Grana Padano wheels are examined by impartial testers from the Consortium of Grana Padano Cheese with the traditional inspection tools: a small hammer and a needle. These checks allow the aroma, flavour, colour and structure of the product to be accurately verified.
Grana Padano PDO is a cheese obtained from raw milk partially-skimmed by natural surface skimming. It is easily digestible and therefore particularly recommended for children and elderly people, as well as for sportspeople. An excellent source of calcium and energy, it may play an important part in the diet of pregnant or breast- feeding women.
It’s crazy how much goes into the production of this cheese and meat. So much care, time and attention.
I was sent a sample of each and used it to make a delicious salad. It has been so warm over in the UK so a salad seemed like the best option. I also used avocado, olives, peppers, cucumber and humous.