Sambucano Lamb Piedmont
The Sambucana sheep breed has been farmed in the Stura Valley mountains since the 18th century. Suited to high-altitude pastures, it is medium-large in size and its limbs are thin, strong and not very long. It has no horns and the head has no wool. The breed is particularly prized for its meat, which is firm, flavorful, lean and rich in protein. The lambs are generally slaughtered when they reach 18 to 25 kilos. Though the period of highest demand is around Christmas, according to valley tradition the lamb is eaten from the end of October, when the Saints’ Fair is held in Vinadio. The lambs slaughtered during this period are called “tardun” and weigh around 35 kilos; born at the end of the spring, they have been fed on mother’s milk and Alpine grasses and herbs. Their meat is firm, flavorful and lean.
The production of “Christmas” lambs is from October to December, and from February to April for Easter lambs.
There were just 80 sheep in the valley in 1985, but the founding of the L’Escaroun consortium, the Lou Barmaset agricultural cooperative, the Pietraporzio ram selection center and finally, in 2001, the Presidium have marked the breed’s gradual renaissance. Today there are over 5,000 sheep in the valley and every year 10,000 lambs are born. They are raised on small farms, left to graze freely in the summer and kept in stalls and fed dry hay for the rest of the year.
Upper Stura Valley, Province of Cuneo
Presidium supported by
“L’Escaroun” Sambucano Lamb Consortium
Consorzio per la Valorizzazione Razza
Ovina Sambucana "L'Escaroun"
c/o Comunità Montana Valle Stura
via Divisione Cuneense, 5
tel. +39 0171 955555-345 4736443
Cooperativa Lou Barmaset
tel. +39 335 5470191
Ecomuseo della Pastorizia
per informazioni e visite guidate:
tel. +39 0171 955555
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Tel. +39 0171 955555
Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Tel. +39 335 7413190