If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to what capicola tastes like. After all, it’s not exactly a household name.
But if you’re curious about this delicious cured meat, read on for a description of its flavor and some suggestions for how to enjoy it.
What Is Capicola?
Capicola is a native Italian delicacy made from dry-cured muscle from the pork neck and shoulder.
This meat is seasoned with red or white wine, then with a variety of other spices like garlic, paprika, and salt.
Lastly, it is hung for 6 months for curing.
The term Capicola comes from capo meaning head, and, collo meaning neck in Italian.
What Does Capicola Taste Like?
Capicola has a smoky, roasted, and mildly spiced flavor. The thin slices of delicate and tender meat make it one of the best-known Italian delicacies. Each slice is a delicious mix of muscle and fat giving a rich yet balanced mouthful with each bite.
The curing process is crucial to ensure cleanliness and to avoid any unwanted bacteria.
Before adding the spices to the meat, it is cleaned and cured with nitrite and nitrate which help get rid of any remaining germs and prevent the formation of new ones.
Here’s how the traditional Italian Capicola is made.
What Is The Texture Of Capicola Like?
Capicola has a chewy and moist texture. Being dried and cured meat, it is not greasy but has a balanced amount of fat and muscle. The meat is most often sliced very thinly and tends to be tender even after being dried.
Capicola is usually served with calorie-based complimentary dishes such as bread, cheese, wine, crackers, and fruits.
Does Capicola Taste Good?
Capicola is known to be a constant in Italian restaurants and in more global cuisines for its unique taste and texture. The spicy and lightly-roasted meat is paired well with a variety of cheese, bread, and fruits.
It is made sure that the raw meat is free of all bacteria and parasites during its curing process making it safe for most to eat.
However, toddlers and the elderly are suggested to eat only controlled amounts.
Is Capicola Raw Meat?
Traditional Italian Capicola is cured with salt, chemicals, and other spices and is slow-roasted. The end product can be eaten raw or cooked according to your liking. It is indeed safe to consume the meat straight after it is cured and dried.
The salt and chemicals act to dehydrate the meat, making it inhabitable for any form of living bacteria that could harm anyone eating the meat.
Is Capicola The Same As Prosciutto?
No, Capicola and Prosciutto are both dry-cured meats but have distinctive features that made them different from each other. Capicola is made from the pork neck and shoulder meat while Prosciutto is from the hind leg of the pork.
Capicola is known for its chewy and tender meat while Prosciutto is known for its buttery meat with high-fat content.
The former takes 6 months for curing and the latter needs about 24 months.
Does Capicola Taste Gamey?
No, Capicola is made from harvested pork and hence does not have the gamey taste that game-shot animals have. The meat is also marinated, salt-treated, cured, and left to rest for at least 6 months before it is consumed.
Capicola has a slightly salty taste and does not taste chemical-like in any way. It is also often slow-roasted and has a pleasant flavor.
Is Capicola The Same As Salami?
Capicola and Salami are two different preparations of cured meat. While Capicola is cured and marinated with salt, wine, and other spices to render it free of bacteria, Salami is infused with spices like garlic, minced animal fat, and wine with the meat itself.
Capicola meat is usually paired with sharp and heavy cheese and meals that feature peppers while Salami is paired with pasta, eggs, and other lighter meals.
What Is The Difference Between Capicola And Pepperoni?
Capicola and Pepperoni are both cold-cut pork slices known for their chewy texture and spicy flavors, but they are not the same. Capicola is prepared from pork neck and shoulder meat while pepperoni is simply a ground beef or pork sausage cut thinly.
The size of a Capicola slice is usually larger than a bite-sized pepperoni.
Capicola is meant to be paired with cheese while pepperoni is usually topped on pizza.
How Does Capicola Sandwich Taste?
A Capicola Sandwich is one of the most Italian ways to cherish this special Italian meat. The usual Capicola sandwich features other cold-cut meat slices like Salami, Ham, Prosciutto, and Mortadella, together with greens and your choice of cheese.
The meat slices are layered one above the other and differently spiced to give a different flavor and texture with each bite.
Here’s your way to one of the most loaded Capicola sandwiches!
What Tastes Best With Capicola?
There are endless ways you can enjoy these thin and cold slices of Capicola. The Italian Hoagie is a flavor-packed sandwich with meat, greens, and cheese, paired with any sauce. Capicola can also be served with roasted veggies like asparagus and bell peppers.
Italian salads often include slices of Capicola with a variety of cheese. Capicola Quesadilla with a cheesy dip is another great pair.
In The End
Whether you’re enjoying it as part of an antipasto platter or sliced thin on a sandwich, capicola is sure to please your taste buds.
So, next time you’re in the mood for something new, give this delicious cured meat a try.
Do share this treasured bite of delicious Capicola with your friends and family!