BeanScene Magazine

Calabrian treasure

From the July 2015 issue.
Calabrian treasure

Originating in the Southern Italian region of Calabria, capocollo’s popularity continues to spread far and wide.

Capocollo or coppa is a dry cured pork product made from the dark red coloured meat that runs from the pig’s neck to its fourth or fifth rib. Each capocollo is made from a single piece of meat, carefully prepared to ensure maximum flavour. So that the end product remains moist and flavoursome, a thin layer of fat is left on the meat.

The name capocollo derives from the words capo, Italian for head, and collo, which means neck.

In its birthplace of Calabria, the base of Italy’s boot, the prized Capocollo di Calabria achieves DOP designation. Only meat grown, produced and processed according to strict regulations that also govern the area in which these processes take place can bear the coveted Capocollo di Calabria DOP name. Rules also stipulate that the pigs must be at least eight months old.

It is believed that capocollo was first introduced to Calabria when Ancient Greek civilisations settled there many centuries ago.

Nowadays several other regions also make versions of the product, including Basilicata, Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.

Strict quarantine regulations placed on cured meat products means that like most Italian produced salumi, capocollo can't be imported to Australia. Though capocollo’s origins lie in Italy however, Australians can enjoy locally produced versions made according to traditional Italian methods.

Capocollo is produced in a similar way to prosciutto or bresaola. After cutting the meat off the bone, it is seasoned, salted for a period that typically lasts up to 10 days and massaged. The piece of meat is then rinsed with water or wine and covered with vinegar. Spices such as peppercorns, paprika or even hot chilli may be added for additional flavour before the piece of meat is stuffed into a natural casing, tied with string and hang to cure for a period that generally lasts a minimum of three months. It may also be smoked.

To serve capocollo, slice it thinly and add it to an antipasto platter, panino or pizza. Once sliced, it should be covered and placed in the fridge, and is best consumed within a few days.

Australian producers
Bertocchi Smallgoods, Borgo Smallgoods, Casalingo Smallgoods, Fabbris Smallgoods, Montecatini, Primo Smallgoods, Princi Smallgoods, Rossi’s Smallgoods and Tibaldi

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