Description: The Borrego do Nordeste Alentejano PGI meat comes from lambs born of Merino Branco ewes, either of pure breed or crossbread with improving breeds. It is a tender and juicy meat with a soft texture and some intramuscular fat that gives it a distinctive and intense flavor. Commercially, the Borrego do Nordeste Alentejano PGI can be presented in carcases, parts of carcases or cuts. Only the lambs born, raised and slaughtered inside the designated geographical area are eligible to achieve this geographical indication.
Production method: Lambs suckle the ewe (for 45 to 60 days) and graze natural or sown pastures. They can also be fed with farm fodder in summer and graze acorn in autumn and winter. The use of concentrate feeds can only be authorized in exceptional situations of critical food shortage. The animals are slaughtered between 90 and 120 days old when they reach the ideal and typical carcass weight of 9 to 15 kg.
Special features: The specificity of the Borrego do Nordeste Alentejano PGI derives essentially from the way it is created and fed, which in turn derives from the crops and type of farms typical of the region.
Production area: The Borrego do Nordeste Alentejano IGP production area coincides with the Portalegre district, covering a total area of 6065 km2.
History: The rearing of Merino Branco sheep in this region goes way back into time. Indeed, many researchers, based on the abundant historical data available, assure this rearing to precede the formation of the nationality. Over the centuries this breed has been reared extensively, in a traditional way, in harmony with the oak forests, the pastures and the cereal crops typical of the region – a practice that remains practically unchanged until today. This historical connection is well reflected in the central role the lamb has on the local gastronomy.
Product specification (pdf)
Control and certification body
AGRICERT - Certificação de Produtos Alimentares, Lda.
Publication in EU official journal
Regulamento (CE) n.º 617/2003 da Comissão – L89/3 05.04.2003
Publicação do pedido de registo (2002/C 168/07) – C168/15 13.07.2002