Capicola or Coppa

Coppa, Capocollo, Capicollo meat popular italian antipasto food. Black background. Top view.
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Capicola, also known as coppa or capocollo, is a traditional Italian cured meat that comes from the neck and shoulder of the pig. It is a highly prized and versatile meat that is often used in Italian cuisine, particularly in sandwiches and antipasti platters.

The preparation of capicola involves a long and labor-intensive process that requires careful attention to detail. The meat is first dry-cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, which helps to draw out moisture and preserve the meat. The exact recipe for the cure can vary depending on the region and the individual butcher, but it typically includes ingredients like black pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds.

After the meat has been cured for several weeks, it is then rinsed and coated with a layer of chili paste. This gives the capicola its signature spicy flavor and distinctive red color. The meat is then left to air dry for several more weeks, which further concentrates the flavors and firms up the texture.

The finished product is a delicious and flavorful meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Capicola is often sliced thin and served on sandwiches, either on its own or with other meats and cheeses. It can also be used as a topping for pizza or added to pasta dishes for an extra kick of flavor.

In addition to its delicious taste, capicola also has some nutritional benefits. It is a good source of protein and iron, and is relatively low in fat and calories compared to other cured meats. However, it is still important to consume capicola in moderation, as it is a processed meat and can be high in sodium.

There are many variations of capicola throughout Italy and the world. In addition to the traditional spicy variety, there are also sweeter versions that are flavored with ingredients like honey or red wine. Some butchers also add other herbs and spices to the cure, such as rosemary or thyme, to create unique and flavorful varieties of capicola.

Overall, capicola is a delicious and versatile cured meat that is beloved by many. Its rich flavor and spicy kick make it a perfect addition to sandwiches, antipasti platters, and a variety of other dishes. While it may take some time and effort to prepare, the end result is a truly special meat that is worth the wait.

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