The queen of the tables in Arezzo: the Chianina steak!

by Jacopo Mariutti

Chianina is perhaps one of the most famous elements of Tuscany. Whoever comes from all over the world wants to try to eat the legendary steak at least once. How many debates on the right cooking, the minimum thickness, the embers, the maturation, the fire, the crust etc etc.

You do not mess with meat and steak and we take it seriously. After all, the Chianina cow has been an integral part of Tuscan culture for centuries, indeed for millennia and here we know how to treat it! Specimens of the Chianina breed were used already for work in the fields by the Romans and earlier by the Etruscans. They are very strong cattle and that is why they were good workers. Their white coat and imposing size then made them ideal in triumphal processions and in many ceremonies. In short, these animals have lived in the Tuscan valleys for centuries and they are now an irreplaceable part of our tradition and culture.Precisely because of this indissoluble link with the territory, Chianina is preserved and indeed together with Marchigiana and Romagnola, is one of the breeds protected by the PGI brand “Vitellone Bianco dell’Appennino Toscano“. The Consortium of Protection  brings together breeders and butchers with the aim of promoting and protecting the product since 2003. It works with a monitoring mission to combat abuses and especially fraud such as misuse of the trademark or counterfeiting. The certified meat is branded by the consortium mark which is burned into each anatomical cut of the cow in order to make the meat recognizable even when it is sold cut.

Chianina in the Kitchen

The meat of this bovine is suitable for many uses. The Bistecca alla fiorentina is clearly the most famous and probably the most loved dish: the classic T-bone steak desired by tourists from all over the world! You cannot come to Tuscany and not try the Chianina steak, but of course it does not end here: the noble meats of these white cows can be used in dozens of other recipes. The youngest will surely appreciate the hamburgers that lately are becoming increasingly popular even in gourmet versions. We cannot forget traditional recipes, such as: lampredotto, tripe, peposo or stew. But the list is potentially endless: tartar, cut, boiled, ossobuco… it will be that the meat goes well with red wines… In short, the Chianina in the Tuscan kitchen never really misses!