Comes from the shoulder of a pig as opposed to Prosciutto which is cured from the pig’s hind leg. As Paul Thomas explains in his excellent book Home Charcuterie “Coppa looks like salami, marbled with delicious fat, but it is in fact a whole cut of meat taken from a single muscle”.
What cut of meat is Coppa….
The cut used is Pig’s Collar or Neck Fillet. In Italy where it originated, this cut is also known as Capocollo, another name for Coppa. Translating as “head of the neck“, it usually weighs at least 1 kilo (2lb 2oz), and has a good balance of meat to fat that ensures its hugely appealing and distinctive marbling.
How do you make Coppa….
The basic principles remain constant for the curing of all whole muscles. These are dry-curing, then hanging to dry and mature in a suitable environment that offers the correct level of humidity and temperature.
There are any number of ingredients for the dry-cure. Some add fennel seeds, others cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, cloves, juniper berries, garlic, bay leaves…… and so on. For a spicier version, you can even add cayenne pepper, paprika or red chilli flakes.
How can Coppa be used….
Coppa is great on a Charcuterie Board, as a pizza topping, or partnered with cheese, fresh pears, or pickled radishes. However you eat it, make sure it is as sliced as thinly as possible, so it almost melts in the mouth.
Cook with Coppa….
Try one of our favourite, and so-easy-to-prepare, recipes for nibbles to go with drinks – Coppa, Stilton & Panettone Crostini by Kuba Winkowski.
Did You Know….?
- Italian Americans from New Jersey call their coppa, Gabagool. Neapolitan slang, it was often used in The Sopranos, that much-missed TV series.