The production area of Vastedda has strong traditions in dairy products and breeding activities.
Even today, sheep breeding retains all traditional features, practiced in family or semi-industrial sheepfolds. The free grazing rearing has positive effects on milk quality, which gives the Vastedda della Valle del Belìce its peculiarities.
Always been, autochthonous sheep's milk is used for the production of Vastedda, now appointed as Valle del Belìce breed, it's known for the production of a milk that shows excellent characteristics.
Production Regulations PDO Trademark
The belicina sheep likely originated from the many foreign influences came to the island in the course of history. The mix of Pinzirita breed, native, with the comisana and Sardinian breeds, generates a sheep variety become autochthonous in the valle del Belìce.
The selection carried out by Sicilian breeders during centuries, and recently by the Department S.EN.FI.MI.ZO.8 of Palermo, Faculty of Agriculture and Regional Breeders Association, made the Valle del Belice sheep one of the best breeds of dairy sheep in Italy and Europe.
The features attributed to this breed are high productivity, due to the presence of a massive and well-shaped breast apparatus and biological characteristics that provide resistance to adverse climatic conditions and suitability to twin births.
The confirmation of the dairy breed potential comes from tests carried out by the Istituto di Zootecnia Generale di Palermo, where the monitoring of several farms in the territory of Santa Margherita Belìce has reported the average milk production of 354 kg +110 +63 in 220 days of milking with a daily production of 1.61 +0.38 kg / d.
The milk of this local breed shows a quality standard that remains steady throughout milking period. The good levels of fat and protein, but above, the pH stability with the high percentage of reactive and coagulable milk, highlights its remarkable dairy ability.