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Coppa at a Glance
Campania, southern Italy
Type of Charcuterie
Dry Cured Meat
Pork, paprika, black peppercorn or red peppers, salt, garlic, white wine
Capocollo, loin, capicola, capacola, capacollo, capacolla, Calabrese capicola, Sicilian capicola, cabbagall, gabagool, coppa Piacentina, capocollo di Calabria, ham capocollo, capicollo, capicolla, capocollo della Basilicata, capocollo del Lazio, capocollo dell Umbria, capocollo tipico senese
Also known as capocolla, this traditional salumi is produced in many different regions in Italy. Originating from Campania in the southern region this Neapolitan processed meat takes its name from the two pork cuts which the processed meat is made from. Capo refers to the head cut, while collo is the shoulder. Coppa is often made from the shoulder and neck cuts of a pig and is the hard air dried version of this charcuterie product.
Unlike other dry sausages, production begins with a whole cut of meat that is not ground. This is generously rubbed with salt and left to dry cure for several weeks to a month or more.
After the aging process the salt is rinsed off using white wine and the meat is seasoned with paprika, pepper, garlic and other spices. The seasoned cut is then dried or cold smoked to promote moisture loss.
When finished the coppa becomes homogenous with a deep red color coming from peppers and paprika used. It will also have white and rose colored veins of fat throughout it. The flavor of coppa is delicate and mildly spicy to moderately hot.
Mild or sweet versions are often spiced using black peppercorns while spicy versions are seasoned with red chili peppers. When correctly cut, it will have a similar texture to prosciutto di Parma that is tender with fatty textures throughout.
Coppa is often sliced thinly and served in antipasto platters or used as a sandwich filling together with Provolone or Fontina cheese, pickled peppers and many other things. Aside from this it can also be used for cooking such as for wrapping vegetables and meats to be grilled or baked, as a topping for pizza, an addition to pasta or even salad or as an additional flavoring for vegetables.
Of course like many other dry sausages it may be served as is in a cold cut platter. Coppa is considered to be a gourmet food item in many places and is often more expensive than other types of salumi.
Photo Credit: Kent Wang