Variations in texture were determined for 10 day aged raw and cooked Longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle from 436 bulls of 15 European cattle breeds slaughtered at an age of 13-16 months. Variations in texture were related to differences in pH 24 h post-mortem, sarcomere length, collagen characteristics and lipid content. The shear force of cooked meat samples varied from 43.8 to 67.4 N/cm². Simmental, Highland and Marchigiana cattle had the highest shear force values and Avileña-Negra Ibérica, Charolais, Casina and Pirenaica cattle had the lowest values. Cooked meat toughness showed a weak negative correlation to lipid content (P<0.001) but no correlation to collagen characteristics. Raw meat texture measured by compression correlated positively (P<0.001) with total and insoluble collagen. In conclusion, collagen characteristics showed correlation to raw meat texture but not to cooked meat toughness of LT muscle in European young bulls. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.