The Suffolk breed, from the homonymous county in England, "appeared, more intensively, about 30 years ago in Portugal," says Francisco Malhão.
Francisco Malhão, Pateo dos Petiscos
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Michele Marques, Mercearia Gadanha
Texto de Patrícia Serrado
Fotografias de Vânia Rodrigues
The Suffolk breed, from the homonymous county in England, "appeared, more intensively, about 30 years ago in Portugal," says Francisco Malhão. At that time, having sheep of this species "was a whim", he explains. Over time "began to realize that with the crosses, and the race itself, after being tested was, after all, very good," he reports.
Francisco saw the opportunity to achieve the mission of "encouraging, in this case, the producer and the future producers, to develop a different work with this breed - Suffolk - so that in the food business we can have a different matter to work in the kitchen and present it to the customer ". The idea came in 2015. It only started in early 2017, with the support of the Association of Cattle, Sheep and Goat Producers of the region of Montemor-o-Novo (APORMOR). "I come to the country, I observe, and I choose" the animals. The objective is to improve our country's herds by crossing between breeds, "in order to improve carcass, meat quality, presentation and production time. It is also very important to work with pure Suffolk and with the native races of Portugal." After the field, process alignment proceeds with slaughter. "The carcass comes whole and we make the cut".
The quality of the product is also due to two other aspects praised by Francisco Malhão: terroir and know-how. Even so, the registration of 900 Suffolk animals in Portugal is, for XXX, a small number, and therefore advocates the need to increase it as well as the number of producers. This factor also has to do with the lower profitability of the Suffolk breed as far as procreation is concerned, since, generally, "they only give one child a year", he justifies. "A normally double."
While expressing himself as "an unconditional fan of the autochthonous races, a consumer of autochthonous races," Francisco sees this work as "an evolution in time. We are in the 21st century, we are evolving with experiences. The world is growing, the mentalities are more comprehensive, the gastronomy is more specific," he says. Therefore, "we think this product will bring be an addition and will added value to the dish."