Capicola, or coppa, is a traditional Neapolitan Italian cold
cut (salume) made from pork shoulder or neck, and dry-cured whole. The name
coppa is Italian for nape, while capicola comes from
capo—head—and collo—neck—of a pig.
Left: Whole coarse
Coppa. A balanced quantity of white fat is important for flavour and
It is similar to the more widely known cured ham,
because they are both pork-derived cold-cuts that are used in similar dishes.
However, the technical definition of ham is the thigh and buttocks of a pig (or
boar) slaughtered for meat, whereas capicola is solely meat from the shoulder or
In its production, capicola is first lightly seasoned, often
with red and sometimes white wine, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices,
which differ depending on region. The meat is then salted (and was traditionally
massaged) and stuffed into a natural casing, and hung for up to six months to
cure. Differences in flavor can also depend on what type of wood is used for
smoking, as well as what breed of pig is selected. It is essentially the pork
counterpart of the air dried, cured beef
bresaola. There is also a less common
version which is cooked, called coppa cotta.
Capicola is esteemed for its delicate flavor and tender, fatty texture, and is
often more expensive than most other salumi. In many countries, it is often sold
as a gourmet food item. It is usually sliced thin for use in antipasto or
sandwiches such as muffulettas, Italian
panini, as well as some