What is marbling of meat and why is it important

Many speak of marbling of meat, but few know exactly what marbling means. Today we want to give you useful information to distinguish quality meat and allow you to better understand what marbling is and why it is important in the selection of meat.

Definition of marbling

“Marbling is a property of meat that indicates the distribution of fat within animal muscle tissue.” A marbled meat has small white and homogeneous veins similar to those of marble, hence the term marbled or marbled meat.

The appearance of the marbling depends on the state of health and the type of diet of the animal: for this reason this characteristic is an important indicator of quality in choosing the meat to buy. The higher the degree of marbling, the more valuable meats will be obtained.

The marbling of the meat as an indicator of high quality

Examining the distribution of fat and its quantity in the animal muscle tissue, therefore allows us to evaluate the degree of marbling of the meat: a fundamental technical parameter, because it certifies a high quality derived from a healthy growth of the animal and, therefore, from a excellent breeding process.

Is marbled meat tougher? Many think so, but it is a false myth. During the cooking of the meat, in fact, the marbling fat, finely distributed in the tissues, melts, ensuring flavour, fragrance and softness. The result? A tastier and more tender meat.

So how to choose an excellent quality meat starting from the marbling? How to recognize the various levels of classification?

So how to choose an excellent quality meat starting from the marbling? How to recognize the various levels of classification?

According to what reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, the concentration of fat will be:

  • very scarce, if it is present only within the ribcage;
  • poor, if it is visible in the intercostal muscles;
  • moderately important, if there are high concentrations of fat inside the ribcage and intercostal muscles;
  • abundant, if veins of prominent fat are visible inside the thigh and intercostal muscles;
  • very abundant, in the case of prominent fat everywhere or of a completely covered thigh in which the fat forms small and widespread contours that resemble parsley leaves.

The perfect marbling of the meat, which identifies excellent quality meats, is that which can be classified as abundant or very abundant. In fact, these types of marbling distinguish the most famous prized meats such as Angus, Wagyu, Iberico Pata Negra or our Marango whose breeding in the wild and the particular diet help to develop the perfect degree of fat infiltration in the muscle fibers and, therefore, marbling.
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