Mertolenga - Portuguese Meat



Origin and area of dispersion

The Mertolenga Breed is well adapted to its original conditions, making the best use of endogenous food sources in a very efficient way.

Its manor is Mértola, one of the oldest regions of Lusitania, which gave the name to the breed, from Alcoutim and Martinlongo.

Currently, the geographic holding base of the Mertolenga bovine breed is distributed in the districts of Castelo Branco, Santarém, Setúbal, Portalegre, Évora, and Beja.

Breed Characterization

The Mertolenga Breed is different from all others due to its medium size and harmonious shapes, its unique ability to adapt to the rough lands and hills of thin pastures and heavy burdens that are characteristic of their original manor. With thin, well-proportioned and muscled limbs, the breed has three distinct coats: red or unicolor, “rosilho” (pinkish) and mottled. It was originally used for work, which remains to this day in the Ribatejo Region, but later on it was selected and produced mainly as a meat-producing animal, taking advantage of its exceptional rusticity and the quality of its products.

Meat Characterization

The Mertolenga DOP meat is obtained from cattle that are raised in an extensive rearing system, with access to natural pastures and forage that is rich in dietary terms.

It has a bright to intense red color, with pearly white fat, depending on if it’s young or adult.

Subject to several scientific studies, the Mertolenga meat DOP has almost obtained the highest classification levels in terms of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor intensity, showing that, in addition to all its unique sensory traits, it also has a positive role in the consumer health and can now be considered an integral part of the Mediterranean diet.

Mertolenga Meat Marketing

The Mertolenga DOP meat can be sold in carcasses, half carcasses, vacuum-sealed butchery pieces, in cuvettes with a protective atmosphere and processed fresh or frozen. Usually, Mertolenga DOP meat is available to clients in large stores packed in cuvettes, sliced or in the form of meat preparation, such as hamburgers, meatballs, minced meat, and meat loaf, each package containing all legally required information, dish suggestions, the Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) logo and the brand of certifying body. Mertolenga DOP meat products are also available in catering maintaining the quality that characterizes them. Butcher’s best-selling categories are Vitelão Mertolengo DOP and Bovino Mertolengo DOP.


PROMERT – Agrupamento de Produtores de Bovinos Mertolengos, S.A


+351 266 707 197