Saturday, June 5, 2010

Coppa

Like so many Italian foods, the preparation of the salume "coppa" varies regionally. But the version that is  most familiar to Americans who grew up in the same corner of America that I grew up in is Neapolitan capicola . In the New York metro area, capicola  (or, as the pro-shoot and mutzah-rell eating goom-bahs say  gabba-gool) is a ubiquitous offering in salumeria and Italian delis.

Unlike prosciutto and other whole muscle cured products, capicola is not terribly expensive because it does not take very long to age and, more significantly I think, it is made from the muscles that run along the neck between the head and the beginning of the  rib eye behind the foreleg. This region in the hogs musculature is not generally considered to be great for cooking (Which is not to say that it is not good to cook; it is!) because it contains lots of tough connective tissue. However, because the coppa or neck muscles gets lots of exercise, they are rich in oxygen carrying serum protein myoglobin which renders the meat dark red and very flavorful. So, the coppa makes great salsicce (fresh sausage) and salumi.

The coppa I began making two weeks ago was done on a purely experimental basis. No matter how it turns out, I doubt I will make it for retail sale, although I'm sure I will make it again.


4 comments:

Tyrone B, said...

Hey Bob, you really do have the dream job don't you? I was looking at all your public picture albums again today...loved those cheese wheels too...

I might have missed it along the way BUT whatever happened to 'The Apprentice' that was working with you there on the farm?

Natalie Sztern said...

Charcuterie is a science all its own.

I so enjoy learning what you do, how its done; it is not butchery yet it encompasses that; it is not cooking yet it encompasses that knowledge too; in fact from what I have learned to date about Charcuterie from you is that it is a little of all of the above plus the absolute knowledge of animal husbandry, agriculture and farming all rolled into one...

Plus Salumi is a term not readily used nor understood in Montreal, as I have come to know.

Adriana said...

Hi Bob, what is genoa casing? Is it some sort of tripe that is dried out and then hydrated?

Bob del Grosso said...

Adriana,
It's a casing made from beef gut that is used for Genoa Salame and comes salted but not too dry. You should rinse them before filling, but they don't need to be soaked. (Although soaking will not harm them.)