With its two and four horns, the distinctive Manx Loaghtan sheep is unique to the Isle of Man and is the last of the breeds of mountain sheep which may have roamed the Manx hills in their thousands up until the eighteenth century. It also happens to be «probably the best lamb in the world» according to its many international plaudits, including famous TV chefs Si King and Dave Myer.
“Loaghtan” (pron. ‘Lock-ton’) is the Manx word for the “moorit” colour of the fleece. It may be derived from the two Manx words Lugh (mouse) and Dhoan (brown) or from Lhost dhoan (burnt brown). In past times, clothing made from Manx Loaghtan wool was highly prized.
Today, the champion of Manx Loaghtan is George Steriopulos who, with his wife Diana and a small group of local farmers and enthusiasts, have saved this breed from extinction, taking it to ever increasing numbers.
As well as raising its profile locally , the meat is now recognised internationally and has been regularly exhibited at the world famous Slow Food Convention ” The Salone del Gusto ” .
“Our lambs feed, as nature intended, on the pure herbage of the hillside” says George “and don’t mature until around 15 to 18 months. As a result the peerless meat is leaner, fitter and altogether tastier than conventional lamb”.
Manx Loaghtan farmer, Dougie Bolton is equally passionate about this very special breed. “Manx Loaghtan is characterised by being darker, with just 5% fat (compared to 28% in conventional lamb) and around 15% less cholesterol. Being hand reared in very small numbers, and an unsurpassed delicacy makes for what is simply the most exclusive lamb in the world”.
That provenance and heritage status has now earned Manx Loaghtan the coveted PDO accreditation from the European Union. (PDO – ‘Protected Designation of Origin’).
“But the real experience is in the taste!” says George “there is simply nothing else like it”.
“Probably the best lamb in the world”.
Manx Loaghtan is a proud member of Purely Isle of Man, a group of the Island’s finest producers and craftspeople working together to bring the best of the Isle of Man to the rest of the world.
For information and specialist trade sales, please contact:
George & Diana Steriopulos
Isle of Man
Tel: 01624 824618
Fax: 01624 824618
Mobile: 07624 492850