The Maremmana cow is of very ancient origin, known since Etruscan times is probably derived from the Asiatic gray cattle of Podolia, is related to the Hungarian breed and almost certainly to the breeds used in ancient Egypt, as evidenced by the many depictions so similar to today’s Maremmana.
Adult animals have a more or less intense grayish-white coat and a massive, good-looking skeletal structure, with characteristic lyre-shaped horns, in females, and crescent-shaped horns, in males.
This native breed had its heyday between the wars, on Mount Amiata quarrymen used Maremmani oxen to transport marble. With land reclamation and agricultural mechanization, the breed went into crisis, even coming close to extinction.
It is a very frugal animal, survives in difficult situations and is raised only in the wild.Traditionally the herd was cared for by the figure of the buttero, the herdsman on horseback who follows and guides the cows and who acquired the appellation Italian cowboy because of his resemblance to his more famous colleagues in the stars and stripes.
Free-range farming makes a major contribution to animal welfare and to the flavor and wholesomeness of the meat, which is accompanied by a high protein content and moderate lipid content, with an excellent balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. All this makes this food highly sought after by foodies and, at the same time, recommended for anemic individuals or in high-protein and hypolipidic diets.
There is a traditional recipe to best appreciate Maremma meat, the “peposo,” a stew made with the most muscular pieces and a “dry” tanning, whose preparation is very long, but the result is exceptional. Try it to believe it!