The Modenese White Cow
Less than 100 years ago in the municipal livestock consortiums of the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Parma, Bologna, and Mantua, about 52,000 head were registered and steadily increasing. In the 1950s the number of heads exceeded 140,000 but, only 10 years later, the downward phase began, hand in hand with the unstoppable expansion of the Friesian breed. The fortunes of Parmigiano Reggiano, in fact, convinced farmers to replace the two native breeds (the Modenese white and the Reggiana red) with those from Holland, famous for their productivity and ideal for mechanical milking. Today of the Modenese bianca there are only a few hundred head left, spread in small herds. The Modenese bianca is a dual-purpose animal that comma in the past, in addition to being destined for milk-meat production, was also a valuable aid in field work. The Modenese bianca produces milk that is particularly suitable for processing into Parmigiano Reggiano and for cheese-making in general. This is due to the optimal ratio of fat and protein content, where the K fraction of caseins, which promotes a slow and more resistant coagulation of milk, is present in high amounts. In addition, this breed has maintained a genetic heritage that allows for fair growth times.
the province of Modena has started a project with some historic breeders to recover this native breed. Santa Rita Bio is the only dairy that markets wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano with mountain milk made only with milk from the Modenese bianca, the only Slow Food Presidium of Parmigiano Reggiano. only one wheel per day is produced in the world.
The international Slow Food association involving more than 80,000 people in 104 countries on 5 continents promotes taste education and fights to preserve food biodiversity. Their goal is to ensure a future for local communities: seeking new market outlets, promoting and enhancing flavors and territories. (www.fondazioneslowfood.it)
The Santa Rita dairy is now in the forefront of protecting the Modenese white cow, an endangered breed of cattle.
By purchasing Modenese white cow Parmigiano Reggiano you are helping to safeguard this endangered breed. Our goal is to safeguard biodiversity and animal welfare-in fact, all our cows are free-range.