It is universally understood that lamb is the offspring of sheep, their gender does not matter, and they are still drinking the milk of their mothers. The Indicación Geográfica Protegida for Lechazo de Castilla y León covers three types of lamb: Churra, Castellana, and Ojalada, as well as their cross breeds. The Lechazo de Castilla y León must meet several requirements: the lambs must be harvested 35 days after birth at the latest, they must have a live weight of anywhere from 9 kg (20 lbs.) to 13 kg (29 lbs.), and they can only have consumed breast milk.
The lambs that are recognized under the Indicación are sold in two categories: Extra and Primera. They can be presented with the head, offal, and omentum (between 4.5 kg (10 lbs) and 7 kgs (15 lbs.)) or it can be presented with the omentum but without the head or offal (between 5.5 kg (12 lbs.) and 8 kg (17.5 lbs.)).
The unique characteristics produce a meat that is pearly white or pale pink, very tender, juicy, and with a soft texture. In addition, its fat seeps into the muscle very little, because the fat mainly covers the kidneys.
The Churras, Castellanas, and Ojaladas lambs have always been very important to the economy of Castilla La Vieja, where there is a huge agricultural legacy. During the 16th century, an era of splendor emerged for the wool and textile industries of the region, which used mostly the Merino sheep. At the end of the 16th century, this economic center for textiles moved to other communities, like Andalusia. With the decline of the textile industry in this area, the agriculture industry gained more prominence and economic importance. This is how the economic center became known for sheep farming, especially of the three breeds that are today included in the Indicación Geográfica Protegida.
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