Coppa | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila
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Coppa

An ancient tradition

Cop¬≠pa is soft and ten¬≠der, and burst¬≠ing with fla¬≠vor. The thin pink¬≠ish-red slices are a per¬≠fect bal¬≠ance of meat and fat, and give off a sub¬≠tle spicy fla¬≠vor, just del¬≠i¬≠cate enough to taste.

TAST­ING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

Orig¬≠i¬≠nat¬≠ing from areas along the coasts of South¬≠ern Italy, cop¬≠pa‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČoth¬≠er¬≠wise known as capoc¬≠ol¬≠lo or capi¬≠co¬≠la, is a dry cured meat sim¬≠i¬≠lar to pro¬≠sciut¬≠to. Although not as wide¬≠ly pop¬≠u¬≠lar as pro¬≠sciut¬≠to or sala¬≠mi, cop¬≠pa is a val¬≠ued culi¬≠nary cut, mak¬≠ing it a hid¬≠den gem of Ital¬≠ian cured meats. Made from the ‚Äč‚Äúcop¬≠pa,‚ÄĚ a col¬≠lec¬≠tion of mus¬≠cles of the pork that runs through the neck and shoul¬≠der (‚Äúcapo‚ÄĚ lit¬≠er¬≠al¬≠ly means head, and ‚Äč‚Äúcol¬≠lo‚ÄĚ means neck), it is a beau¬≠ti¬≠ful¬≠ly mar¬≠bled meat that is 30% fat and 70% lean, mak¬≠ing it ten¬≠der and moist, even after being cured. 

This Ital¬≠ian cold cut is still made in the tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al way. The pork meat is put in a tub filled with a mari¬≠nade of red wine, spices, and herbs, before being rubbed with salt and put into sausage cas¬≠ings to be cured for three to six months. The spices and herbs used dif¬≠fer with each region, with some using cin¬≠na¬≠mon or oak bark, and some using vine¬≠gar or chili pep¬≠pers. The herbs and spices, how¬≠ev¬≠er, are nev¬≠er over¬≠pow¬≠er¬≠ing. They lend a light and unique fla¬≠vor to the meats, bal¬≠anc¬≠ing the ten¬≠der, fat¬≠ty tex¬≠ture. The care¬≠ful prepa¬≠ra¬≠tion of this pork cold cut ensures that the meat has a slight¬≠ly chewy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

PREPA­RA­TION OR PAIRINGS

Cop¬≠pa is great on its own, whether cooked or uncooked. Make it the star of the show on your cheese and antipasti plat¬≠ters‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČit pairs beau¬≠ti¬≠ful¬≠ly with hard cheeses, olives, and apple slices! But the Ital¬≠ian cold cut is also a very ver¬≠sa¬≠tile meat; it‚Äôs light earthy fla¬≠vor can high¬≠light and enhance any¬≠thing you put it on.

  • Wrap it around spears of aspara¬≠gus or chunks of mel¬≠on for appe¬≠tiz¬≠ers, or use it to dress up your dishes.
  • You can crisp it up to use as gar¬≠nish to ele¬≠vate your sal¬≠ads and pastas.
  • Or use it as an ingre¬≠di¬≠ent for piz¬≠zas and omelets to give them a mild but deli¬≠cious heat.
  • Smear a thin lay¬≠er of may¬≠on¬≠naise on light¬≠ly toast¬≠ed sour¬≠dough or cia¬≠bat¬≠ta, add some slices of cop¬≠pa, some grilled onions, and top with Pro¬≠volone cheese, and you have your¬≠self an incred¬≠i¬≠ble sandwich.

AN ANCIENT TRADITION

Cured meats have been around for a long time, and cop¬≠pa could be one of the old¬≠est. Doc¬≠u¬≠ment¬≠ed pro¬≠duc¬≠tion of cop¬≠pa has been around since the ear¬≠ly 1800s, but more records show that its ori¬≠gins date even far¬≠ther back. It could be traced to the Magna Grae¬≠cia peri¬≠od, an era in his¬≠to¬≠ry when the areas along the coast of South¬≠ern Italy were colonies of Greece, between the 8th and 5th cen¬≠turies BC. The pigs used for cop¬≠pa come from the same area it is pro¬≠duced, which has remained the same: the Cal¬≠abria region, which occu¬≠pies the ‚Äč‚Äútoe‚ÄĚ of the boot shape that makes up Italy.

Storage Instructions

Vac¬≠u¬≠um-sealed packs of hand-carved cured meats can last up to five months in the refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tor (nev¬≠er the freez¬≠er). Once the pack is opened, they‚Äôre best enjoyed with¬≠in the day.

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