This extraordinarily robust native breed, with large lyre-shape horns and a grayish coat, saw its popularity peak between the two world wars. As the marshes were drained and mechanization became more common in agriculture, however, it came close to extinction. Now there are around 20,000 animals in three regions—Marche, Lazio and Tuscany—with the largest farms in Maremma. The Maremmana is frugal, adapts well to difficult environments and cannot be kept indoors, but must roam freely. This explains the survival of the figure of the “buttero”, the horse-riding cowboy who herds the cattle. The fact that the cattle range in the wild contributes to their well-being and to makes their meat especially flavorful and wholesome.
Maremmana beef is available year-round.