Rocky uplands, unsuitable for crops or cattle
pasturage, provide fine grazing for huge flocks of sheep,
from which come wool, skins, milk and, of course, very fine
meat. Most familiar to English and American consumers is spring
lamb, cordero lechal, butchered between three month
and a year, after the animal has begun grazing. It is cut
into sections and sold, bone-in.
The leg, pierna, and chops, chuletas,
are the most expensive cuts. The shoulder, espaldilla
or paletilla, is considerably cheaper but has a large
proportion of bone to meat. The breast of lamb, pecho,
and ribs, costillas, are least costly. These can be
cut into riblets and cooked much like pork spare-ribs. Mutton,
or carnero, is meat from sheep older than a year.
The flavour is stronger, the meat coarser and its colour darker.
Mutton is butchered similarly to lamb, or may be sold in smaller