Masseria Colombo is a homestead in Mottola, in the province of Taranto, Puglia. The farm has revived the ancient Podolica cattle breed, characterised by higher physical robustness and endurance which make them particularly capable of surviving on the harsh terrain and poor pastures of Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Molise and Abruzzo. The presence of Podolica cattle is beneficial for the environment because it contributes in enhancing the soil with organic compounds and preventing fires through brushwood clearance.
The milk and meat of Masseria Colombo
Originally employed as beasts of burden, Podolica cattle has been increasingly utilised for the production of quality milk and meat. The Consortium of Producers of High-Quality Italian Beef has included Podolica in the top-five Italian cattle breeds, with Chianina, Marchigiana, Maremmana and Romagnola. The 350ha surface of Masseria Colombo houses 670 head of cattle, of which 300 are brood cows and the remaining 270 are intended for fattening. The farm has adopted a closed-loop supply chain system, in which, calves are born, weaned and followed every step of the way to the abattoir, that is as soon as they have turned 19 months old and reached the weight of 600kg. The milk is conveyed to the cheese factory and transformed into Caciocavallo Podolico, treccia, ricotta and mozzarella. They are not produced in large number. However, they are quite renowned for their exceptional organoleptic properties, as well as their richness in fats and proteins.