Cured meats of Calabria

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Cured meats of Calabria

Calabrian cured meats are one of the region’s excellences, and their production dates back to the Magna Graecia period. In a land mainly devoted to agriculture, pig farming was never excessively costly, and its prolificacy ensured food even for the poorest classes. Centuries later, techniques have been refined, but customs have remained intact. The respect for Calabrian cuisine standards and artisanal productions characterize the aforementioned skills, perhaps with the addition of a touch of chili pepper. The four PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) Calabrian cured meats are: Salsiccia di Calabria (Calabrian sausage), Soppressata di Calabria (Calabrian soppressata), Pancetta di Calabria (Calabrian pancetta), and Capocollo di Calabria (Calabrian capocollo). However, it’s impossible not to mention the ‘nduja from Spilinga, which boasts thousands of imitations worldwide. It’s prepared with a predefined recipe: one-third chili pepper, two-thirds pork meat, and a light smoking.

Salsiccia di Calabria PDO

It’s characterized by a cylindrical shape, well amalgamated, and short seasoning. It’s obtained from pork shoulder and rib meat, to which natural aromatic ingredients are added. Salsiccia di Calabria PDO is stored in cool environments, picturesque hanging from the ceiling to ensure preservation for at least twelve months. It has always been practically a gastronomic must for the entire southern Italy and has inspired numerous traditional dishes. It’s served as an appetizer alongside local cheeses, in pasta, or even in some second courses.

Soppressata di Calabria PDO

Every corner of Calabria has a different way of making its soppressata. On the Tyrrhenian coast of Cosenza, in Longobardi to be precise, it’s prepared with the addition of salt, ground spicy red pepper, bell pepper cream, and red wine. In Reggio, instead, it’s prepared only with wild fennel and red pepper. Soppressata di Calabria PDO also has a cylindrical shape but is flatter. Compared to sausage, it’s more matured and has the same storage form.

Pancetta di Calabria PDO

It’s obtained from the pork’s belly and must be aged for at least a month under controlled temperature and relative humidity. Pancetta di Calabria PDO is then kept in cool, dry environments. It’s consumed thinly sliced and enjoyed with good local bread. In cooking, it’s used in sautés and for making first courses.

Capocollo di Calabria DOP

Capocollo di Calabria PDO has a more or less intense red color due to the presence of ground chili pepper. With a delicate flavor, it emits a characteristic aroma suitable for appetizers and main courses. It’s usually enjoyed accompanied by a glass of local red wine and the inevitable homemade bread.

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