Sergio Capaldo

 Credits Brambilla-Serrani

 Credits Brambilla-Serrani

La Granda-Eataly

via Garetta, 8a
Genola (Cuneo)
Tel. +39.0172.726178

Creating a market starting from a native breed, like that from Piedmont, wasn’t easy. Fierce competition from the big breeders that fill their livestock with antibiotics, the importing of foreign calves, the obligation to buy industrial products and prices dictated by butchers or livestock traders have made life complicated for small family breeders of beef. Fundamental help has come from Sergio Capaldo, a vet from the province of Cuneo, founder of an important association promoting the quality and health of the Piedmont breed. Now the province of Cuneo is the biggest province in Italy and is known as “La Granda” (the big one) and this promotes the thought that Sergio was born a Capaldo, but grew up to be “La Granda”.

Interest in the animal kingdom was so great that this little man from Piedmont decided to devote meticulous attention to the entire food chain, from breeding to the best type of cooking technique required by the meat. It wasn’t easy to get the associate breeders to understand the need to upscuttle the standard feed practices, characterised by supplements, antibiotics and vitamins. But what started out as difficult became possible, in the case of Capaldo, thanks to a very strict set of rules and regulations: the animals are now fed with natural feed, such as maize, barley, bran, beans and hay. The legislation in force imposes that calves be born in the shed and not purchased from outside; after slaughter and the various checks envisaged, all the meat is butchered and placed in vacuum bags ready for use. The entire production chain is indicated along with the gender of the animal, which is vital in order to know how best to cook the meat.

A culinary workshop was set up in the butchering centre a few years ago in which the best gastronomic uses of different cuts of meat are studied. From the 7 farms of 1998, there are now over 60: the number doesn’t matter, the important thing is to emphasize the increased awareness of the farmers who, thanks to La Granda have jointly established the right livestock purchase price, guaranteed all year round. The new frontier lies in research into the roots of pants and bacteria in the soil: by learning to fertilise the soil without using chemicals, Capaldo has noted an improvement in the sensorial characteristics of the meat. The appointments don’t stop there though: now he’s quality manager for Eataly.

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Cultivating meat


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Andrea Pendin