“Abbacchio” is a Roman term derived from the word “bacchio”, the traditional staff used by shepherds, indicating the young suckling lamb butchered for meat: Chiappini's vocabulary of Roman terminology states that “abbacchio is used to indicate a suckling lamb which is still suckling or has recently been weaned, while a lamb is about one year old and has already been shorn twice”. This is a typical Latium definition since as Chiappini goes on to say “...in Florence this distinction is not made at all and both are referred to as lamb”. The denomination “Abbacchio Romano” is reserved exclusively for lambs born, bred and butchered in the Latium region. The meat is obtained from lambs fed exclusively on ewe's milk and has a characteristic light pink colour with a white fat covering. The meat has a firm consistency and is slightly marbled with fat. The characteristic of Abbacchio Romano is its delicate flavour, but at the same time, a strong aftertaste of grass and milk. The meat is ideal for roasting accompanied by “ramoracce” (wild grasses from the Roman countryside) and a light or medium-bodied red wine. The traditional recipes for “abbacchio” are normally associated with Easter: “scottadito” (grilled ribs), “alla cacciatora” (hunter style) or simply roasted with potatoes.
Cook and taste:
Grilled lamb ribs
600 g Abbacchio Romano PGI ribs
extra virgin olive oil Sabina PDO q.s.
black pepper q.s.
Grilled lamb ribs Place the meat on the grill and season with olive oil, salt and black pepper.
Grill until the meat is well done.
Wine matching: Frascati DOC Superiore or Castelli Romani DOC white wine