In the southern part of Italy what’s “coppa” in the north is called “capocollo”. That’s where the American term “capicola” or “gabagool” comes from. Most of the Italian immigrants to the US were from Southern Italy, bringing with them the term and product “capocollo”
I’ve already gone through the whole coppa making process in a previous post, but this one is slightly different. My buddy Scott at Sausage Debauchery, who’s family is original from Calabria, is a Calabrian FREAK. He’s so obsessed with the place that he opened a store to source and resell Calabrian chili pepper and other goodies. All I hear from him is how Calabrian cured meats are the best, tastiest, blah blah blah. Mostly in an effort to shut him up, I made a capocollo following the Calabrian DOP production methodology.
Capocollo di Calabria is pretty interesting in how it’s made. As you can see above the cure is done very simply with just salt and Cure. After its salting period it’d then rinsed in vinegar and rubbed in peperoncino/chili powder (Calabrian please! Cayenne is not an acceptable substitute!)
I’m guessing the rinsing in vinegar is an old world remnant when it was done to make sure the meat surface was as “clean” from bacteria as possible before entering its long drying phase. Now days I think it’s just done as part of tradition as i can’t imagine a rinse in vinegar could impart that much flavor.
|Nice whole coppa muscle. Big one too, 2688g! Didn’t do much trimming to this|
|Salt, cure and that’s it. I’ve been putting stuff to salt cure in vacuum bags. I like how it keeps everything clean, no leaks and makes sure all the salt is in contact with the meat during the cure.|
|After cure. Meat looks pretty similar. Rinsed and dried.|
|Vinegar rinse and then heavily rubbed with Calabrian peperoncino.|
|The muscle is cased in “pelle di sugna”, which is a casing made from the lining of the inner walls of the pig organ cavity. |
You can’t get it here, as far as i know. I don’t even know the name for it in English.
I suggest a beef bung as a substitution.
|Tied and ready for the fermentation box for 48 hours at 75 deg F.|
|A quick 3.5 months in teh curing chamber and the capocollo had lost about 45% of its weight. |
The chamber was running around 75% RH at 55 deg. F.
|Sliced thin, it’s delicious!|