Sheep farming is of little importance within the Mexican livestock sector, providing an average of 1.29 percent of livestock production annually, said María Antonia Mariezcurrena Berasain, a specialist at the Autonomous University of the State of México (UAEM).
The expert from the Veterinary Medicine and Zoology Department added that of this total production, 66 percent is generated in only seven federal states with the State of Mexico contributing 15 percent of the total.
She emphasized that barbacoa (barbecued lamb) is considered one of the most succulent dishes in Mexican gastronomy and that 90 percent of lamb is consumed in barbecued dishes, with 5 percent in mixiotes (a pit barbecued dish) and birria (a lamb stew). The remaining percentage is used in gourmet and fine dining dishes.
However, the specialist said that Mexican barbecue is only seen during special occasions, weekends and family parties. Mexico City is the major market for this lamb, accounting for 73 percent of its production.
María Antonia Mariezcurrena Berasain said that second place is held by the State of México — Toluca and its suburban area consuming 23 percent — with Morelos in third place, followed by Hidalgo and Puebla.