Cattle that evolved in the Italian region of Piedmont have become world-renowned because of a unique genetic variant, an inactive myostatin gene achieved through centuries of selective breeding, which makes them “double muscled” without fat marbling. Certified Piedmontese beef is therefore both tender and lean.
Introduced to North America in the late 1970s, only open-range, vegetarian, hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle earn this certification. The delicious taste and texture are a big part of why Piedmontese beef is so popular, but more and more people are choosing it for health reasons (rich in protein and omega-3s, and low in fat and cholesterol), or even because of the humane, eco-friendly farming practices required for the Piedmontese certification. Cooking with this leaner meat is mostly just the same as with traditional beef, but it takes only about two-thirds as long to cook, and tastes best on the rare side. Pick up a few Piedmontese steaks from Cantoro’s meat counter this week and see what you think!