The Bianca Modenese is a long-living, docile and fertile breed.
- White coat (bulls may show grey shading on the neck and shoulders.
- Yellowish, black-tipped horns
- Tuft with brown-reddish shades
- The Bianca's most distinctive characteristics is a pink-coloured reversed V in the centre of the dark-grey wide muzzle.
The breed is first documented in the mid-nineteenth century: its breeding - along with the breeding of the Reggiana Rossa (Reggiana red cow) - has always been tightly bound to the production of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Over the course of the 19th century, the range and numbers of Modenese white cows expanded rapidly in the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Bologna and Mantua. In the 1950s, the population was estimated at 230,000. Then began the demographic decline that still continues today, with the Bianca being progressively replaced by others, more productive imported breeds. Today, only a few hundred examples remain.
Bianca Modenese's milk
Bianca's milk is particularly suitable for cheesemaking. Not only: the excellent ratio between fats and proteins and the high concentration of K-casein (B) make it easily processable.
We are at the forefront in recovering, conserving and promoting this ancient breed. Indeed, to let it go extinct would be tantamount not only to losing a very important element of our culture and history, but also to renouncing to a raw material of indisputable quality.
In 2000 the Province of Modena - along with Slow Food and Associazione Provinciale Allevatori (Association for cattle breeding and genetic improvement) - began to promote a biodiversity project for the recovery and promotion of the Bianca Modenese breed.
On 4 April 2005 farmers obtained the first wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano made entirely from Bianca's milk. The wheel passed all quality checks with excellent results. In 2006, the Slow Food Presidium began safeguarding the breed - ad not just a product in particular.
A few years later, several white cow farmers gathered in the Consorzio Valorizzazione Bovini Razza Bianca Modenese (Consortium for the promotion of the Bianca Modenese breed). They set the following objectives:
REGULATIONS FOR BIANCA'S MILK PRODUCTION
Cows must be fed with natural, GMO-free products. Silage, fooder and food whose preservation requires PH variation are not allowed. "Unifeed" feeding technique is not allowed. Integrations with minerals and vitamins are allowed under veterinary prescription.