Lamb is one of the primary exports of the region of Zamora; the EU recognises the quality of Lechazo de Castilla y León with Protected Geographical Indication status. The lamb is produced in a time-honoured style, by farmers with small flocks of sheep who take care of them in the traditional way.
This lamb comes from sheep of the native Churra, Castilian and Ojalada breeds, or of crossbreeds among them. The term lechazo refers to suckling lambs, both male and female.
The lambs are solely fed on their mother's milk. Neither mothers nor lambs receive growth promoters or finishers.
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Very tender meat, with very little intramuscular fat, very succulent and very smooth texture.
The colour is pearly white or pale pink. To qualify for EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Lechazo de Castilla y León lamb must meet the following requirements:
- Lambs of either sex
- Live weight at slaughter in the slaughterhouse: nine to 12 kilos / 19-26 lb
- Age at slaughter: up to 35 days
|Carcass weight||- Without head or pluck and with omentum from 4.5 kg to 7 kg / 10-15 lb
- With head, pluck and omentum 5.5 kg a 8 kg / 12-17 lb
|Fat characteristics||- Waxy white external fat
- The omentum covers the carcass
- The kidneys are more than half covered
PRODUCTION / PROCESSING METHOD
|Feed||Mother’s milk. Under no circumstances may the mothers receive growth promoters or finishers.|
|Transportation and slaughter||Lambs must be transported under humane conditions in accordance with all relevant EU regulations. A PGI lambs must be slaughtered on the day of entry into the slaughterhouse, always within a maximum of ten hours, and separated from other non-PGI animals.|
|Storage||The carcasses must be aired in cold rooms at 4ºC / 39ºF until the day after slaughter, and may not be sent out before that. After the first day, the carcasses must be chilled to 1ºC / 33º F, for a maximum of five days.|
|Time to sale||The maximum time for sale must be no more than eight days after slaughter, and the cold chain must remain unbroken at all times.|