Basic Introduction to Cow Breeds

By Gayot Editors

The many varieties of cattle across the world give us different kinds of meat to eat. Here’s a guide to the origin and products of specific cow types.

• Angus

Of Scottish origin, Angus cattle are prized worldwide for their well-marbled, meat-heavy carcasses.

Beefalo

A cross between a buffalo and any breed of cattle.

Brahman

A native of India, this breed has a distinctive back hump and can handle hot weather.

Braunvieh

A Swiss breed—how now, Brown Cow? Braunvieh means “brown cattle.”

Charolais

A French breed from Charolles, grown for meat, not dairy.

Chianina

A product of central Italy.

Gelbvieh

Originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

Hereford

Natives of England, this is a common breed in the U.S., Argentina and Australia for meat production.

Piedmontese

A crossbreed from Italy’s Piedmont region; their breeders promote their meat as being naturally low in fat but still tender and flavorful.

Santa Gertrudis

A cross between a Brahman and a shorthorn, this breed is believed to be the first created in the U.S.

Senepol

A breed developed in the Caribbean, this one is heat-tolerant and meaty.

Shorthorn

Originally from England, shorthorns are a popular American breed because they grow rapidly.

Simmental

A Swiss breed grown for both dairy and meat production.

Wagyu

The famed cattle that produce Japan’s prized Kobe beef, named for the city that launched the breed.