Most commonly known as appenninico (literally, from the Apennines), lamb has inhabited the central regions of Italy for centuries (Abruzzo, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria). Evidence of this can be found in some of the breeds’ names, which evoke the places where the sheep populations originate from.
Farming of central Italian PGI lamb is fairly widespread throughout the Emilia-Romagna region, and can be found in the provinces of Bologna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna and in some parts of the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma.
Depending on the weight of the animal, the Central Italian breed is sold as ‘light lamb’, ‘heavy lamb’ or ‘castrated lamb’. These three types provide meat that is pale pink in colour, tender and lean. Decidedly the most delectable of the three types is castrated lamb, which comes from sheep that are no older than one year and weigh up to 20 kg.
The meat’s delicate flavour, enhanced with high-quality organoleptic properties, makes lamb the perfect choice for a variety of ways of cooking. Whether it’s pan fried with sage, rosemary and a splash of white wine, or roasted after it has been browned gently over a low heat, lamb features as the main dish on countless menus in farmhouses across central Italy.