Sicily’s Rare Goat, the Capra Girgentana

Distinguished by their spiral, tall horns and long hair, this rare breed of goat, called capra girgentana, is valuable for its milk that possesses an equal amount of fat to protein. The name girgentana recalls the old Sicilian name of the city of Agrigento, Girgenti. 

During the mid-twentieth century, throughout southwestern Sicily, girgentana goats numbered more than 30,000. Today, there are fewer than 600 throughout the island, where there is a concerted effort to replenish the population. Artisanal cheese made from the capra girgentana’s milk has become sought after by gourmands.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. What happened to the large population of these sweet little goats? How did they lose value and then get ignored? I hope someone takes up their cause.

    1. In the mid-twentieth century, with the introduction of UHT and pasteurized cow’s milk, the milk from these goats fell out or favor because it was more expensive – to produce and purchase. So farmers stopped cultivating them. Now though, there is a movement to breed them and grow the population again. The Slow Food movement is fostering this, which is fantastic. They are beautiful animals and their cheese tastes great too. I still need to try the milk though!

  2. Sounds like I need to read about the Slow Food movement. I didn’t think of the expense, but that usually is a big reason for loss of something we’ve grown used to and love!

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