Big, beautiful and pure white coloured, Chianina is a cattle breed of ancient origins. Today it is the excelence of Tuscany’s cooking culture. These magnificent cattle boast a thousend- year history. The historical findings twentytwo centuries ago, but the latest genetic analysis reveal a much older origin, probably of Turkish or Balcan origins. According to some these animals derive infact from Bos Primigenius (that is depicted in the graffiti of prehistoric caves), of which the present Chianine still keep traces of the ancient “groppa” (hump). The Roman poets Plinio il Vecchio and Virgilio wrote about Chianina. We find it depicted in roman bronzes and bas-reliefs, including the famous one of the arch of Titus in the imperial forum. Already in Etruscan period Chianina was commonly used as a sacrifical offerings for some divinities of that time in the triumphal processions. Still today we see it paraded on the “sabbione” of Santa Croce during the famous procession of the Florentine historic football (calcio storico fiorentino), game symbol of the city from whose creator, Malatesta Baglioni, our restaurant takes its name. Also in Siena during the famous “Palio”, the cart carrying the cloth donated to the winner, is dragged by four oxen of Chianina breed. These animals have a beautiful pure white coat with a characteristic white porcelain color and with a height at the withers of 1,55/2,00 m thus setting the world record for its dimensions. The Chianina breed is characterized by somatic gigantism and it’s for this reason that an adult bull can weigh up to 17 quintals. This breed has been selected for centurie sas a dual – purpose breed. It’s used both for meat production and as a draught animal. Its meat with an unmistakable flavour have the characteristic of having a compact texture especially in the male specimens. If not cooked to the blood as tradition wants it can be stringy in the mouth; to avoid this problem and to have meat with an unmistakable taste, but tender and succulent and palatable it is therefore advisable to choose loins of female Scottona. Scottona means a female Chianina between 15 and 24 months that has never calved. It is therefore understandable how difficult it is to find this type of meat and obviously the relative cost. Frauds unfortunately occur very frequently, it’s good then to trust those restaurant that are certified by the white veal central Appenines association, that show the certificate of conformity for each loin purcheased, like Braciere Malatesta. The price as well must be a quality signal for a good T-bone. As we know the T- bone is obtained from the part of the meata t the lumbar vertebrae of the animal, from the middle of the back going towards the tail. In the initial part closer to the animal’s withers, we find the chop, which is a tasty but less valuable part that has no fillet in its cut. It follows going from the back to the tail, the loin from which the real Florentine steak is made with the characteristic T- bone. From one part of the meat we find the fillet (the smallest part of the piece, but obviously the most appreciated) and on the other side of the bone the sirloin. Never trust city restaurants offering Chianina “scottona” IGP steaks at a price below euro 70/80 per kg. For the chop the price of quality meat must be between 65 and 70 euro per kg. Remember that restaurants selling Chianina breed are obliged to exhibit the certification, which is guaranteed by the IGP of the white veal central Appenines, and costumer has every right to request it. This certification is called “central document” and is in all respects an official document appreved by the Ministery of agricultural food and forestry policies. The production of IGP meati s infact regulated by a strict production rules in which the production and qualitative parameters are essential for the accreditation of the certificat. The calves are than kept under controlfrom the first days of life. It is indispensable that these newborns are suckled by their mothers until about 5/6 months of age. After the weaning the Chianine will have to feed on fresh fodders or possibly stored but still coming from herbaceous crops typical of the breeding area. Also the slaughter of cattle must take place in the area and only in authorized and certified slaughter houses. As we said the tenderness of the meat id determined by genetic element; the sex of the animal, the age, the feeding and the type of breeding , but not by the pregnancy; but the most important thing is with no doubt the maturation process after the slaughter of the animals. Generally the red meat without proper maturation is very tough however you cook it, so it needs a period of rest called “maturation”. This biochimical process ensures the tenderness depending on the time and temperature used. The maturation must be carried out very carefully, in sterile environments at controlled temperature. Usually it takes 10/15 days to have a meat with high organoleptic and gustatory qualities. The parameters during maturation must be checked to have an internal biochemical transformation and not a degenerationby bacterial agents that would lead to rotting. The “scottona” of Chianina IGPgive tasty and savoury meat with a persistent taste, bright red color and consistent texture, firm and elastic under the touch. The fati s white or light yellow, indispensable to make the Florentine T-bone tasty. The proteinsthat characterize these meats are of high biological value due to the presence of significant quantities of essential amino acids. Regarding the fat content meat generally contains between 1-7% and IGP meat has an avarage value of 2% so cholesterol is at low levels. An important quality of Chianina is its high iron absorbability. Furthermore, the iron contained in the meat promotes better intestinal absorption of the iron contained in other foods. These fine organoleptic and nutritional characteristics of the meat of the cattle marked by this brand make it a halthyand balanced food suitable also for children. You just have to try it! Chianina is a breed with a widespread distribution in the world, with subjects sexported to Asia, China, Russia; Canada, USA, Brazil and Australia, both for breeding and to improve local breeds.