Seal of quality
Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (PAT) – Traditional Farming Product.
The Lamb of Sambuco is also a Slow Food Protection and a collective Escaroun Consortium Seal “guaranteed Sambuco lamb”.
The sheep of Sambuco originally comes from the Valle Stura of Demonte, where it has been bred for centuries, starting from the valley-bottom towns up to the higher villages.
It lives according to the rhythm of the seasons: during the winter months, it spends its days in the sheds next to the farmer, waiting to be sheared and for the birth of its lambs; in summer, it pastures on the high plains in search of aromatic and nutritious herbs.
The sheep of Sambuco is a good lamb breeder and producer of wool and milk.
The lamb is the product that is characterised the most by its quality and genuineness.
It has a very delicate bone structure with an extremely developed and compact muscular mass without streaks of filamentous fat. The taste is excellent, determined by the lambs’ genetic characteristics as well as the type of natural feed given to the sheep.
Laboratory analysis carried out by the Agriculture Faculty of Turin has confirmed that its meat is attractively bright red and lean with excellent organoleptic and bromatological-chemical characteristics and low cholesterol content. They are easily assimilated and have almost no allergy powers, it is particularly suitable for children and the elderly, and in cases of food allergies.
The lamb of Sambuco is produced in two types: 18- 20 kg lamb, available all year round and the lamb named “Tardoun” which is produced in autumn after the animal has followed the sheep along the mountain pastures.
The milk is processed by a number of sheep farmers into the local cheese “tuma”, which has a particularly agreeable taste.
Its wool is of excellent quality, extremely fine and close-grained. The yarn is light and shiny and is quite tear-resistant. The Consorzio l’Escaroun, in collaboration with the wool factory Lanificio F.lli Piacenza of Biella has arranged for the realisation of splendid Sambuco wool manufactures (sweaters, plaid blankets and hats), which can be found on the premises of the Association.
Area of production
The Valle Stura – Demonte area.
The triple-aptitude Sambuco sheep breed is native of the Valle Stura and has always been in this area. Throughout the centuries, it has been selected for its rustic nature, as it has been able to fully adapt to the environment and, in particular, to the conditions of the high mountain pastures on which it spends as much time as possible every year. In the second post-war period, the species risked extinction, both because of crossbreeding with races from elsewhere, and the mass departure of the mountain population. However, some herds, or rather, single animals survived thanks to their rustic features, which are positive in the valley environment.
The Community Montana Valle Stura, with the collaboration of the Piedmont Region, have brought forward a project to rehabilitate this sheep, backing and increasing the number of breeders present in Valle Stura. Then the breed was classified by the European Union as being amongst those in risk of extinction, thus breeders have been able to avail of specific aid.
In 1988, the Breeders’ Association l’Escaroun was founded, now numbering about sixty members that have given rise to numerous initiatives, amongst which the organization of a centre for the selection of pure-breed rams, intended for reproduction.