There’s cheese, and then there’s really, really good cheese.
The Canmore Pasta Company only uses the best cheese, and it’s called Grano Padano. This is a hard, slow-ripened cheese from northeastern Italy that’s similar to Parmigliano Reggiano or ‘parmesan’ cheese. But Canmore Pasta Company’s Meghan Bryant says it’s the only cheese she’ll use.
“It’s more fragrant than parmesan but the flavour is more subtle and less salty,” she says. It’s also less crumbly than parmesan, milder and less complex.
It goes inside their stuffed pasta and it’s also available to purchase at the Pasta Co’s retail store grated – absolutely the best topping for your pasta.
Both are Grano Padano and parmesan are cooked, pressed, semi-hard cheeses made from cow’s milk. They’re both ripened slowly. But Grano Padano is made with partially skimmed milk, while parmesan is made from a mix of whole and skimmed milk. And while both are made in Northern Italy, the pastures where the cows graze are significantly different, meaning that the milk used tastes different. And the cheese tastes differently as well.
Grano Padano comes from the Po River valley, and the recipe follows one created by monks 1000 years ago near what is today Turin. With its source in the high Alps under the northwest face of the famous peak of Monte Viso, the Po is the longest river in Italy.
In North America, many people will call any cheese that’s been shredded or grated ‘parmesan.’
But for the Canmore Pasta Company’s Meghan Bryant, Grano Padano stands high above all the rest. “It just belongs with our products,” she says.