Grana Padano is not vegetarian. You may think that Grana Padano is cheese made from dairy milk, which makes it vegan-friendly (but not vegan), but you will be surprised to know that it is not even vegan-friendly. A closer look at its ingredients reveals that Grana Padano is a big no for vegetarians or vegans.
Let’s learn more about Grana Padano and why it is not vegetarian!
What is Grana Padano?
Grana Padano is a semi-hard cheese made in the PO Valley, Northern Italy. It is a famous cheese with worldwide demand. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 12 months before it is sold in the markets. The aging process gives the cheese its signature flavor and texture.
Grana Padano was granted the DOP (protected designation of origin) in 1996. It was developed by monks in the 12th century. The cheese has come a long way and competes with Parmesan cheese.
Grana Padano is free from additives, artificial flavors, and chemical compounds, making it unpasteurized and gluten-free.
Grana Padano Ingredients – Why is Grana Padano not Vegetarian?
Grana Padano’s official website lists 4 ingredients used in making Grana Padano. These ingredients are
- Milk: Milk comes from animals, something that strict vegans will not consume. Some vegetarians drink milk and consume dairy products, eggs, honey, and other by-products that do not involve animal slaughter.
- Rennet: Rennet helps curdle the milk. It is obtained from the calf’s stomach. It involves slaughtering. Hence, it is a big no for vegetarians and vegans Unfortunately, no Grana Padano variety is prepared without rennet. So, you cannot consume Grana Padano as a vegan or vegetarian.
- Salt: Vegans and vegetarians have no issue with salt.
- Hen egg lysozyme: The lysozyme used in the Grana Padano production is obtained from hen egg whites. Vegetarians may be okay with it, but vegans will not go ahead with it.
What is the difference between Grana Padano and Parmesan?
Parmesan is slightly nuttier and saltier than Grana Padano. The difference is due to the milk’s quality as the cows feed on different kinds of pastures.
Is Parmesan cheese vegetarian?
No. Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian. It is made from cow milk and rennet. Rennet is obtained from the calf’s stomach.
Is Asiago Fresco vegetarian?
Yes. BelGioioso, has explicity stated that Asiago Fresco is a vegetarian cheese. However, their official site also mentions that purely vegan cheese doesn’t exist unless you try a homemade recipe. BelGioioso uses non-animal rennet for their vegetarian cheese. You can get any of the following vegetarian cheese from BelGioioso.
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Fresh Mozzarella Braids
- Fresh Mozzarella Curd
- Smoked Fresh Mozzarella
- Tiramisù Mascarpone
- Crema di Mascarpone™
- Ricotta con Latte®
- Ricotta Salata
- Vegetarian Parmesan
Is Grana Padano cheese halal?
Yes. Grana Padano is 100% Halal. It is a fantastic substitute for Parmesan cheese, which is rarely halal, certified. Since rennet in Grana Padano comes from calf, it is totally halal. Moreover, you can check the ingredients before buying to confirm whether it is halal.
Grana Padano is not vegetarian. However, there are plenty of vegetarian cheeses available on the market. It is difficult to find vegan cheese, but you can always try a homemade recipe.