How to eat the Calabrian soppressata

Among the goodness of Southern Italy there is a product known as Calabrian soppressata, it is a cured meat that recalls the traditional sausage but with an inimitable taste and curious name.

Calabrian soppressata: history and origins

The soppressata has very ancient origins. Unlike other cured meats, soppressata has a flattened shape, caused by pressing during the drying process. The soppressata is one of the culinary symbols of Calabrian gastronomy. The province of Cosenza is the main centre of production.

Calabrian soppressata: production and regulation

At slaughter, the pigs must be at least 8 months old and weigh at least 140 kg. The meat used is obtained from the ham and shoulder, the selection must be precise and the fat must come from the front of the loin. The mixture can be enriched using flavourings such as salt and black or red pepper. The regulation also allows the use of the following ingredients: casein, ascorbic acid, sodium salt, sodium lactate, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate and sodium nitrite.

The selected parts of the pig are ground and stuffed inside a natural casing, obtained from the pigs' large intestine, washed with water and lemon for a long time. Once filled, the intestine is pierced with a pin and tied with a natural cord, then left to dry for a fortnight. The shape of the sausages is cylindrical, 15 cm long and with a diameter of 6 cm.

After this period, the soppressate are put on a cloth and blankets, positioning a table with some weights in order to obtain the right pressing. At this point, the products are left to mature for at least 45 days.

How to eat the Calabrian soppressata

The Calabrian soppressata is a culinary product with an intense taste, slightly spicy and savoury but balanced. The scent is very particular. It can be served with red or rosé wines.

Magliocco, for example, is particularly suitable to accompany this product thanks to its balanced acidity which makes it excellent with game, meat or cold cuts. It can be enjoyed alone, with slices of home-made bread or with fresh or cooked vegetables. To make a good appetizer, for example, you can serve on a cutting board some slices of soppressata with cheeses such as semi-aged pecorino.