Have you ever tried capicola? It’s a tasty cured meat prepared from hog neck.
Coppa, capicollo, and gabagool are all names for this delicate, soft, and delicious Italian delicacy. Capicola has a bright red color and superb marbling, but despite its tempting appearance, it may not always be available at the grocery.
In such a case, you’ll have to make a decision. If you like cured meats, you’ll like the alternatives we propose. So, should we get started?
- What Is Capicola?
- Capicola Substitutes
- Tips & Tricks for Choosing the Best Capicola Substitute
What Is Capicola?
Capicola is an Italian cured meat made from hog neck and shoulder, a cut with a 30% fat to 70% lean ratio that keeps it moist and tender even after curing.
Capicola has a smoky taste, but the final flavor is determined by the spices used in its manufacture. Capicola is often made with either red pepper, which gives it a fiery-spicy flavor, or black peppercorns, which gives it a sweeter, more fragrant heat.
Capicola is a remarkably versatile dish that is salty and peppery. Because it is neatly sliced, it is great for making simple but delightful nibbles.
Some people like it in their mashed potatoes, omelets, or breakfast sandwiches, while others like it on their pizza or pasta. It’s also a great accent to any cheese platter.
If you don’t have it and want to try something rich and comparable to capicola, we’ve got 7 capicola alternatives for you.
- Turkey ham
A crispy slice of pancetta is a delicious alternative to capicola. Pancetta is essentially salted, lightly seasoned, and cured pig belly.
The meat is brilliant pink in color and has a smooth, velvety texture. Pancetta is cured for three weeks and may be consumed either cooked or raw.
Pancetta’s taste is best comparable to that of bacon, lacking the smokiness. Pancetta and bacon are both manufactured from pig bellies, however pancetta is cured while bacon is smoked.
Pancetta goes well with spaghetti, charcuterie boards, and salads. If your breakfast, main course, or supper lacks a salty, meaty taste and capicola is unavailable, consider pancetta.
Prosciutto is one of the most popular types of cured pork. It’s a delicious, somewhat sweet and salty treat prepared from premium pig legs.
Each slice has a wonderful red-to-pink hue with fat strewn all over. Aside from salt, it may be peppered and seasoned with other herbs and spices to give it a distinctive taste.
Prosciutto is often served thinly sliced with fruit, crackers, roasted vegetables, grilled cheese, and wine. It’s a great addition to pasta sauces and a favorite pizza topping.
Younger prosciutto is often used in dishes like spaghetti and pizza. Longer-aged prosciutto has a more robust taste and is often served alone.
Lonza, a traditional Italian dish, is made from the lean and delicate top section of a pig’s back.
It has a pink to dark red color and a porky, peppery taste that is similar to prosciutto. It has a crispy and delicate texture, and it cures fast, lasting up to three to four months.
It should be thinly cut. It’s often drizzled with olive oil and eaten with cheese, vegetables, or luscious fruits. It’s delicious on toast, grilled cheese, or as a pizza topping.
Serrano ham from Spain is a Spanish counterpart to capicola from Italy. It is made from the back legs of a type of pig known as white pigs.
It is creamy and buttery, with a faint peppery flavor and a trace of sweetness. It has a taste profile that is extremely similar to capicola, with the exception that it has less salt.
This Spanish replacement for capicola may be used in almost any recipe. It’s most often used in sandwiches and salads, but it’s also great on an antipasto board with cream cheese, pickles, roasted tomatoes, honey, and fruits.
If you like cured meats and pizza, you’ve probably heard of salami, a dry-cured pig sausage.
Salami is a kind of cured sausage made from fermented and air-dried pig meat, although it may also be made from beef or veal. Salami also contains garlic, vinegar, herbs & spices, and wine.
Salami has a buttery texture and a salty, porky taste. However, the flavor will be determined by the particular formula. Salami with black pepper or chile, for example, will have a spicy bite. The flavor will be even sweeter if it incorporates cinnamon.
Salami, like any other cured meat, is a great addition to meat boards. It may, however, be paired with eggs, toast, sandwiches, and pasta salads.
Mortadella originated in Bologna and is made out of diced white hog fat, which gives it its distinctive polka dot look.
Mortadella has 15% fat and is often seasoned with salt, pistachio, black pepper, myrtle berries, garlic, and cinnamon. In addition to being fatty, the spices and pistachios provide crunch and taste to this cured pork.
Mortadella has a wonderful and slightly smoky pork flavor. However, the taste is also determined by the spice combination utilized.
Mortadella may be eaten on its own or sliced and paired with cheese, tomatoes, olives, and spices in pasta salads. Mortadella is very popular in sandwiches and on toast.
This final alternative, despite its name, does not include any pork. It is really composed of processed turkey that has been shaped like a ham.
Turkey ham is often created from the bird’s leaner parts, such as the thigh or breast.
This alternative includes less fat than cured pig meats. It also has less salt, which is ideal for meat lovers who follow a low-salt diet.
Turkey ham is more widely available and less costly than capicola, making it a good option, especially for those who eschew swine.
Its minimal oil and salt content does not make it any less appetizing; on the contrary, it is a really rich slice of cured beef. It will undoubtedly add taste and texture to a sandwich, pasta salad, or pizza.
Tips & Tricks for Choosing the Best Capicola Substitute
Confused by all the cured meat options? Don’t be, since they’re all fantastic capicola alternatives. However, there are various considerations that might help you determine which choice is ideal for you.
To begin, think about the fat composition of your choices. Capicola is an extremely fatty cut of pig. If you prefer capicola for its fat content, try replacing it with another kind of cured pork with a high fat content, such as pancetta.
The second item to consider is the kind of meat you usually eat. If you don’t like pig, consider cured meat from another species, such as the exquisite turkey ham.
Consider the level of spiciness before choosing an option. Capicola may be rather spicy, so if you’re solely interested in the heat, opt for salami. Mortadella and prosciutto are wonderful alternatives for a sweeter taste.
Finally, what sort of cuisine do you want the cured beef for? Antipasto and charcuterie boards benefit greatly from pancetta, prosciutto, lonzino, and serrano. For pizza, salami is the go-to cured meat, while turkey ham and mortadella are great for sandwiches and toast.
Capicola is popular due to its excellent fattiness and slight spicy flavor. It’s great deli meat, but it’s typically too expensive or unavailable at your local grocery shop.
If that’s the case, you now know that you may replace the Italian cured meat with a variety of alternatives.
The options range from pancetta, prosciutto, and lonzino to serrano, salami, mortadella, and turkey ham.