Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI is the fresh meat obtained from cows and bullocks of the Chianina, Marchigiana and Romagnola pure breeds defined also “white breeds from Central Italy” of between 12 and 24 months old.
The calves must be fed exclusively with the mother’s milk until they are ready to be weaned. The calves can be pasture-raised or placed in crates. After weaning, they are fed fresh and/or conserved fodder originating from natural fields, artificial and herbaceous cultivations typical of the indicated geographical area. In addition, the use of simple or composed concentrated animal feed and the integration of minerals and vitamins is permitted. The nutritive standards must be high, with a protein quota of 13-18%, depending on the stage of development of the animal. At this stage, the animals can be kept in free stalls or crates. Slaughtering must take place within the production area.
Appearance and Flavour
The meat of Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI is succulent and nourishing; it is fine-grained and has a vivid red colour. It is firm and elastic at the same time, with small flecks of white fat.
The production area of Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI is within the Umbria, The Marches, Abruzzo and Molise regions and the entire territory of the provinces of Bologna, Ravenna, Forlì- Cesena and Rimini in the Emilia Romagna region; Benevento and Avellino, limitedly in some areas of Caserta in the Campania region; Frosinone, Rieti, Viterbo, parts of the provinces of Rome and Latina, in the Lazio region; Grosseto, Siena, Arezzo, Florence, Pistoia, Prato, Livorno and Pisa, in the Tuscany region.
The origins of Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI date back to the pre-Roman period. In fact, the Etruscans reared cows with the same common characteristics of those reared in the Apennines today. Today’s breeds are the result of crossbreeding and selection that over time transformed and improved the Bos Taurus Primigenius, belonging to the Podolic cattle breed. The Romagnola breed, diffused above all in the Romagna region, was selected from ancient breeds reared by the barbarian populations in the VI and VII centuries A.D. The Marchigiana, on the other hand, is the result of crossbreeding between the Romagnola and Chianina breeds, carried out in the XIX century by local farmers; this breed spread mainly throughout the southern central and Campania regions.
Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI can be kept in the fridge for up to two days wrapped in cling film. It is best grilled or fried, spit-roasted or oven cooked, although it is also ideal for using in stews. It is usually paired with a full-bodied red wine. It is particularly well-known for being the meat used for the “Fiorentina T-Bone Steak”. It can also be frozen, although in order to conserve its distinctive characteristics it must be defrosted slowly in the fridge.
The product is sold year-round as Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI. It can only be sold sliced or packed in trays by authorized butchers that are subject to controls. Each anatomic cut of the sides of meat must be branded with the Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI stamp, with reference to the breed of origin: Chianina, Marchigiana or Romagnola. The certificate of conformity must be displayed in the butcher’s to guarantee the traceability of the meat, which is sold in 18 different cuts: hind brawn, hind shankle, round of beef, lower rump, noce (inner part of the hindquarters), rump, flank, sirloin steak, chop, paunch, breast, lower shoulder, reale (dorsal ribs muscle), neck, anterior muscle, shoulder round of beef, shoulder pulp, clod.
Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Centrale PGI does not darken in colour when exposed to air, and has a high iron content due to the combination of genetic heritage, rearing method and climatic environment.