Various types of cured meats
What's The Difference Between Capicola And Soppressata?
Italy is home to many delicious cured meats, including soppressata and capicola. Although these two deli meats have plenty in common, they’re ultimately quite different.
Capicola, also called capocollo, coppa, and gabagool, is cured pork meat sourced from the head and shoulder. It comes from Piacenza and Calabria in Italy.
First, the meat is seasoned with spices that may include paprika, salt, garlic, wine, pepper, cloves, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaves before dry curing it.
Then, it may be vacuum sealed and refrigerated for a few weeks before it goes into a casing and is hung in a temperature-controlled curing chamber for seven days to six months.
The resulting meat is fatty and soft with a slight chewiness if sliced thickly. The flavor depends on the spices used, but it’s generally great for sandwiches, pastas, and pizzas.
Soppressata, not to be confused with sopressa, can be made from the shoulder, loin, or assorted pork bits. It comes from Calabria, Sicily, Puglia, or Basilicata.
The meat is ground with the fat and then seasoned with wine, salt pepper, garlic, cloves, rosemary, or even chili peppers, before it's packed into casings.
Once encased, it hung for two weeks and pressed with heavy weight to squeeze out excess liquid, giving the log a flatter top and bottom. Then, it’s aged for up to three months.
Sopressata is denser and is usually thickly sliced. It often comes in three flavors — white, sweet, and spicy — which all work well in sandwiches, charcuterie, salads, or pizza.