Originally from Piacenza in Emilia Romagna, coppa is cut from the shoulder of the pig.
Since ancient times, Piacenza has proved to be the ideal natural environment for maturing pigs. With high humidity and a narrow temperature range, pigs thrive in the temperate climate of Piacenza’s woodlands. The climate helps to fatten the pigs in a balanced way. In areas where the temperature is too low, pigs can’t put enough weight, which makes their fat too soft to make perfect coppa.
To make coppa, the shoulder of the pig is cured for 21 days and then rubbed with ground fennel, black peppercorns and cayenne pepper. It is then aged in a drying room for 3 to 4 months. The end result is marbled and velvety meat with sweet and spicy flavor.
For this month’s dish, we paired luscious coppa with pumpkin agrodolce. The sweetness of the pumpkin accents the spicy (cayenne) exterior of the coppa and makes for a perfect fall dish.
We buy our delicious coppa from Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle. The shop was opened in 2002 by Mario’s dad and master salumist, Armandino, and is now run by Mario’s sister, Gina.