Hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, Piedmontese cattle are known to produce some of the best beef the country has to offer. Bred to produce both high quality cheese and meat, the Piedmontese sets itself apart in a few key areas.
The Piedmont region is in the northwest corner of Italy and is second to only Sicily in size. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, which means there isn’t much land within the region where cattle can graze. Despite this, the region is still able to house the very unique breed of cow that is the Piedmontese.
When it comes to their stature, Piedmontese cattle can be double the size of American Angus and weigh up to 2,200 pounds — this makes them heavier than some bulls. Despite their intimidating size, when they are treated kindly by ranchers, Piedmontese cows are quite mellow and trusting.
The Piedmontese’s biggest differentiator in flavor comes from the myostatin allele, which allows for double muscling. Their unique genetic makeup creates meat that has little fat but is still tender and juicy. Without all the marbling that usually comes with other quality steaks, the Piedmontese can have less cholesterol and fat than a skinless chicken making Piedmontese beef great for health-conscious beef lovers!
Due to its lower fat content and lean nature, the Piedmontese is often not eligible for grading on the USDA scale. Don’t let this fool you though; the Piedmontese offers super tender and premium beef that rivals the highest grades of beef when it comes to flavor. This is why it is known to some as the Wagyu of Italy, even without having the marbling that is typical of Wagyu. All the tenderness and flavor of Piedmontese cattle make them a hot commodity, much like Wagyu, but with the added benefit of being heart healthy.
While Piedmontese cattle can be raised outside of Italy there are very few places that have received certification to raise Piedmontese in the states. This makes the opportunity to try Piedmontese a can’t miss and fortunately Gelato & aMore will soon be getting this special type of beef.