My Visits With Hugo At Valley Of The Temples

This is Hugo. I miss him.

Normally, during every visit to Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, I get a chance to say hello to him. Last year, that was six times. Of course the temples are always impressive… but on some days (for me), Hugo steals the show. I miss our flirtations.

Hugo is a rare breed of goat that is distinguished by its spiral, tall horns and long hair. Called capra girgentana, this breed 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 1000 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. In fact, one of the best cannoli I’ve ever eaten (at Ristorante La Scala in Agrigento’s historic center) was made with ricotta from the local capre girgentana.

I hope to see you soon, Hugo! A presto, Ugo!


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