Until the 1950s, the mountains that stretch from behind Palermo to the Madonie were dotted with scattered herds of cows whose deep-black coats contrasted with the stony background. The Cinisara breed had been selected over the centuries to live in this harsh, wind-swept environment, with little greenery and searing temperatures during the summer. Now the population of this hardy breed has fallen dramatically, for the usual reason native breeds are abandoned: low productivity.
Making Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese is the best use for the small amount of extraordinary milk produced by Cinisara cows, rich in fat and aromas from the typical Mediterranean vegetation on which they graze.
Cinisara cheese and beef are available throughout the year.