Soppressata and capicola are both Italian meats. They are both comparable to salami, which is actually an umbrella term for many different types of meat. However, soppressata and capicola are two very different things in how they are prepared.
Capicola and soppressata are similar, but not the same at all. A butcher or seasoned meat lover would likely be able to tell the difference. While they are both pork products and could both be considered salami, they are crafted very differently from each other.
Soppressata is processed with only lean cuts of pork. This means that it’s made of the shoulder, filets, thigh, or ham scraps. Once the meat is gathered and cured, it is packed tightly into a thick intestine and tied together with a string. Essentially, it’s sausage that has been dried and fermented. It has the same shape as salami and is aged for around 40 days.
If vacuumed packed in a refrigerator, soppressata can last for up to three months. It has a coarse, dense texture and tastes faintly spicy. It’s often served as an appetizer with cheese and wine. In Italian tradition, chili peppers, rosemary, and cinnamon are used to add flavor.
Capicola is also called coppa, capocollo, or gabagool. It is made of either pork shoulder or neck that is cured in natural casing. Before being stuffed into the casing, a large piece of pork will be seasoned with garlic, white or red wine, and various herbs, usually paprika. From there, it is hung up for six months to cure.
It is usually smoked or slow-roasted. Capicola is pretty common and can be found in most delis, and is considered one of the best meats to put on a sandwich. Like soppressata, it is thinly sliced before it’s ready for consumption. Its flavor is slightly spiced and smoky.
These two Italian meats are similar in more ways than they are different, but the difference stands out. Most notably, soppressata is aged for a little over a month and capicola is usually aged for six months. Capicola also uses exclusively the shoulder, and sometimes neck, of pork. But soppressata can be made from more parts than this; including scraps or filets.
Soppressata is most commonly served as an appetizer, whereas capicola is usually an addition to a meal, like in a sandwich. They are seasoned differently too. Soppressata may be seasoned with cinnamon and rosemary, but capicola will be seasoned with wine and paprika.
Capicola and soppressata can both be considered types of salami, which is an umbrella term for any meat that has been processed. Depending on who’s serving it and what the occasion is, they could also be eaten similarly. For example, they both pair nicely with garlic bread.
They are both Italian meats that have slightly spicy flavors, and they can both be found relatively easily in a deli. But, to get the most out of a craft meat such as these, it’s recommended to shop small.
Soppressata and capicola are two different types of sausages. They are processed and aged differently, so the difference in their taste is distinctive. They can be served the same, but capicola is usually a sandwich meat. All in all, while they are surely similar, a meat lover will be able to tell the difference. They are both considered very flavorful meats.