The Agnello del Centro Italia PGI refers to fresh meat obtained from lambs belonging to typical local breeds of Central Italy and which are less than 12 months old. It is available in three types, based on fat cover and conformation: Agnello Leggero (Light Lamb), Agnello Pesante (Heavy Lamb) and Castrato (Castrated).
The production area of Agnello del Centro Italia PGI is within the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, The Marches, Tuscany and Umbria; the entire territory of the provinces of Bologna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesena and Ravenna, as well as parts of the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma, in the Emilia-Romagna region.
Agnello del Centro Italia PGI is obtained from animals belonging to the following local breeds and crossbreeds: Appenninica, Bergamasca, Biellese, Fabrianese, Merinizzata Italiana, Pomarancina, Sopravissana, Zerasca; Comisana, Cornella Bianca, Cornigliese (Corniglio), Garfagnina Bianca, Gentile di Puglia, Massese, Pagliarola, Delle Langhe. The lambs are suckled exclusively with their mother’s milk until weaning. Their basic diet then consists of fodder made up of wild meadow plants, sown pasture, pulses and/or grasses originating from the geographical area recognised as the exclusive production area; the animals are reared free-range for at least eight months a year. Mineral and vitamin supplements and cattle feed are permitted, with a maximum daily quantity of 0,4 kg per head. The animals must be slaughtered before they are 12 months old. In order to distinguish the typologies, the carcasses are assessed according to their weight before refrigeration: the Light Lamb is obtained from animals weighing between 8,01 and 13,0 kg; Heavy Lamb from carcasses of at least 13,01 kg; those over 20 kg are reserved for the Castrated typology. A weight loss must be taken into account in cases where the carcasses are weighed after refrigeration: 1% for Light and Heavy Lambs and 2% for the Castrated typology.
Appearance and Flavour
Agnello del Centro Italia PGI has a pale pink colour and a well-balanced fat covering. The meat is characterised by its tenderness and extremely low intramuscular fat content (0,78 g per 100 g).
There have been sheep populations in Central Italy for centuries: this is demonstrated by the fact that several breeds take the name of the places in which they best adapted. In the mid-1900s, the meat of lambs reared in this area began to earn an excellent reputation, mainly thanks to the high organoleptic qualities, as demonstrated by numerous documents related to conventions and publicity campaigns.
Agnello del Centro Italia PGI can be conserved in the fridge for several days. It is a highly appreciated meat, as it is very delicate and low in fat. It can be prepared in various different ways: pan-fried with sage, rosemary and white wine, or oven-roasted slowly at a low temperature (80-85°C).
The product is marketed as Agnello del Centro Italia PGI in the following typologies: Agnello Leggero, Agnello Pesante and Castrato. It is available in the following cuts: whole carcass, leg, breast ribs, belly, rack, rack of eight ribs, boned rack of lamb and fillet, neck with bone, double breast, cutlet, liver, breast with belly, foresaddle and shoulder with bone.
Agnello del Centro Italia PGI is a particularly prestigious meat. Its qualities are given to its deep link with the territory and to the great professionalism and experience of the farmers. In fact, the constant and careful selection of the genetic types historically present in the central Apennines, has led these animals to grow more rapidly than other breeds reared in the area, resulting in a good meat/ bone ratio at the time of slaughter.