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Italian cows, the map of beef breeds

Italian meat, a question of choices

Cuts of Italian beef represent a flagship of the global culinary panorama and sometimes depend quite significantly on the place of breeding. After all, the environment affects various preparations in the kitchen both directly and indirectly. This is why an organizational map is the perfect solution to enrich your personal culture when it comes to Italian cuisine and find new ideas for conservation and purchasing. Choice, nothing else!

Some breeds of beef are better than others, some adapt to different environmental conditions, while others choose to remain more indigenous and less "mixed". You need to know how to choose, and even before that, have an idea, albeit a brief one, of what the Italian panorama offers. After all, cattle breeds are not all the same!

Italian cows: the Podolica breed

The “Podolica” cattle breed is an ambivalent and autonomous cow. It means that it is used both for the production of milk and for cuts of meat and thanks to its characteristics, it is: strong, resistant and perfect for grazing. The farms range between central and southern Italy, more precisely the areas that best welcome the Podolica breed are Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria.

To date there are few farms that choose to encourage the breed since the meat yield is rather mediocre despite its being extremely natural and rich in nutritional values. The main reason is the rather slow growth which fully reflects the call of nature. In fact, the breed is perfect for free grazing, and the solution is ideal for allowing the animal to live in full well-being without having to submit to the fast-paced and productive rhythms of the industrial supply chain. In short, the Italian Podolica cow breed is the emblem of traditional breeding.

Italian cows: La Romagnola

Who knows what its origin is! Jokes aside, the Romagnola is the perfect synthesis of a breed that is excellent in terms of taste thanks to its tender and lean meat, just enough to lend itself to various preparations in Italian cuisine. The breed is very similar to the Chianina from which Florentine and ribs are obtained, typical dishes of Tuscany, but differs in the slightly brighter color of the meat.

The Italian cow breed has two subspecies: Montagnola and Gentile which have more or less marbled meat depending on the pasture. Generally speaking, the cow is perfect for the preparation of first and second choice cuts of meat and, especially in traditional breeding, it finds great success thanks to its resistance to environmental conditions which in the mountain version can be more austere.

Italian cows: La Piemontese

The peculiarity of the breed is the yield at the slaughterhouse: optimal, prolific and suitable for different processes. The breed is also called "Red Gold" because from a nutritional point of view it highlights many peculiarities capable of putting it on the podium of the best meats. Tasty at the right point, thanks to the presence of well-stratified and marbled fat with the meat, it amplifies its potential thanks to the scarcity of connective tissue which sometimes makes the cut less valuable.

The Piedmontese breed is mainly bred in Piedmont and in areas that best resemble the environmental conditions of northern Italy. A humid climate just enough allows the Piedmontese breed cow to offer nutritional characteristics similar to fish, which is why it is praised by those who prefer cuts of meat rich in nutrients and low in "bad" fats.

Italian cows: Chianina

She is the most famous. From her we obtain the cut of meat that allowed the cradle of the Renaissance to become even more famous on the international culinary scene. From the Chianina we obtain the Fiorentina steak and the ribs which can only be tasted at their best in Tuscany. The other characteristics that make it well-known and widespread are: fast growth, excellent yield at the slaughterhouse. The 100% Italian cut of meat is marbled to the right degree, with cognitive textures that are not at all annoying. The white giant, this is the fictional name associated with the breed, denotes its powerful size and imposing weight which allow the creation of different cuts suitable for different solutions.

Italian cows: Maremmana

The bright red color of the meat differentiates it from its close relative Chianina. The breeding area is almost the same, here we are in fact between Tuscany and Lazio: Rome, Latina, Arezzo, Livorno, Pisa and part of Tuscia welcome the Italian long-horned cow breed. A rustic, at times suspicious type that offers strong resistance to adverse climatic conditions and produces tasty and rich meat. The pasture is its natural habitat as it requires little care and attention, the breed lends itself to natural growth and in perfect synchrony with the surrounding environment.

Italian cows: The gray Alpina

Going up towards the Alps we come across a long-lived and very ancient breed that offers its work in an ambivalent way. On the one hand, excellent milk rich in nutritional values ​​and on the other, compact and natural meat that reflects the animal's ability to live in the pasture and in complete freedom. The breed is naturally resistant to the environment and adverse environmental conditions, at the same time showing good fertility which allows a good margin for reproduction and population. The yield at the slaughterhouse is excellent thanks to the proliferation of animals and the longevity of the breed which, with the passage of time, has refined its ability to adapt to altitude and mountain life.

Italian cows: The Sardo Modicana

Leaving the Alps we take a trip to one of the most beautiful islands of the beautiful country: Sardinia. Here lives and reproduces a resistant breed capable of translating into meat the characteristics of the population that chooses to raise it. Resistant, independent and long-lived, the Sardinian Modican breed is perfect for grazing and traditional breeding. The presence of meat is rather limited, but the characteristic meets a sublime and excellent flavor which makes it one of the most prized meats. Imposing and robust, the Sardinian Modican is also used as a working animal and the direct consequence of this discovery is the perfect marbling of the cuts of meat which have a perfect balance between fat and meat.

Italian cow breeds: the choice is complex

The perfect synthesis to describe the breeds that best adapt to the Italian climate translates into various peculiarities closely linked to the territory. After all, Italy is a rich country thanks - above all - to the characteristic of deep connection with local traditions. The desire to keep the different customs and beliefs intact allows the culinary panorama to be rich and vast and at the same time translate into excellence capable of satisfying the various curiosities of those who want to learn about the Italian world.

Local farmers choose to promote their animals bred with different traditional rules and then sell their excellence through online butchers. Here, the perfect synthesis for learning to choose is exactly this: find your particularity and translate it into the kitchen. The kitchen is a mouldable space that welcomes different nuances, but the starting idea must be valid, just like the essential ingredients.