Barrosã Cattle

Ark of taste
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Barrosã cattle breed is native of Portugal. It is known mainly for its big distinctive horns, which can grow well over 100 cm in length. Ancestral inhabitants of the highest lands of northern Portugal, these animals graze freely on traditional pastures and marshes in conditions that are ideal for their welfare. The cattle enjoy a purity of nature that is characteristic of these places, contributing greatly to preservation and biodiversity of the landscape as well as to the rural economic sustainability.

During the beginning of the 20th century, these cattle were numerous, registering more than 200,000 animals. But due to the industrial revolution, the appearance of machines and commercial breeds (more productive for meat and milk production), the animal became more and more rare, until 2005, when there were only about 7,000 left.

The protection of Carne Barrosã, which has a PDO recognition, contributes significantly to the preservation of a remarkable national heritage and the success of a local economy.

The meat of Barrosã Cattle has a very appealing red blood color, giving the cuts of meat a slightly wet and marbled aspect. The combination of the genetic characteristics associated with an exclusive feeding plan based on maternal milk, foraging and grain allows the early infiltration of fatty acids into the interior of the muscle fibers, giving the meat a succulence, tenderness and unique flavor of recognized international merit.

The great balance of unsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, the low proportion in cholesterol and the unusual amount of antioxidant substances (alpha tocopherols and B-carotenes) provide, altogether, an important source of healthy micronutrients. The Barrosã beef is held to a rigorous system of food safety, guaranteeing the authenticity and traceability from “farm to fork”.

Like many other kinds of beef, Barrosã meat is excellent when grilled: seasoning it with salt, and cooking to rare or medium-rare will bring out its excellent flavor and tenderness.

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Vila Real

Production area:Barroso region and highlands mountains of northern Portugal

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:João Paulo Costa