The white steer: a breeding tradition shared by the regions of Central Apennine

Panoramic photo of a herd of Chianina breed grazing on a hillside meadow. A cloudy sky forms the background of the image.

The white steer is a bovine typically raised in the areas of Central Apennine. It is the first in Italy to have obtained the IGP (PGI - Protected Geographical Indication) label of the European Union that indicates the quality, tradition and culture of the product.

A tradition that embraces Central Italy

The name steer refers to the bovine aged between 12 and 24 months, while the adjective white clearly indicates the colour of the coat. Chianina, Marchigiana and Romangola breeds are all raised in the area of Central Apennine, which includes the whole territory of Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise and some provinces of Emilia Romagna. A product of excellence that Central Italy regions share because their weather conditions have always been favourable to this type of farming.

Cattle breeding from the Etruscans until the present days

During the Etruscan period, the breeding of this cattle was already practised in the Central Apennine area. The breeds of that time had characteristics similar to those of today. In fact, over the centuries, various breeds have been selected and crossed. Romagnola originates from animals bred by northern populations in the VI-VII century A.C.; Marchigiana is the result of crossbreeding between Romagnola and Chianina.

The calf is suckled naturally until weaning; then is bred in grazing lands, in semi-controlled or semi-wild areas. The animals feed on fodder from natural or artificial meadows of the same territory. The resulting meat has a bright red colour, with a firm texture and little white fat infiltrations.

Bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak): one of the flagship products of Italian cuisine

In the cuisine, the cut of the meat that is preferred is the one of bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine steak), cooked on the grill or the coals. To taste it at best, it is important to cook it slowly to caramelise sugar on the outside and leave it less cooked on the inside. This is a highly prized cut that is now renowned all over the world.

Vivi l’Umbria insieme ai suoi protagonisti

Percorsi ed esperienze da scoprire per un’immersione nella cultura, nella natura e nei sapori umbri