Nowadays, many cooks consider capicola a main dish or a tasty ingredient in many recipes to enhance the dish’s flavor. What happens if you want to use this meat, but your kitchen is out of it, and you cannot find it in any store?
Do not worry too much, you have our help! Check out our list to find a good capicola substitute below.
What Is Capicola And What Does It Taste Like?
The making process is not as tricky as you imagine. You only need to season some large pieces of the neck or pork shoulder meat with garlic, spices like paprika, many herbs, and white or red wine. Then, stuff the mix into a natural casing and hang it for at least six months. Some people choose to smoke or slow-roast the meat as well.
A finished product will have a slightly smoky flavor, a spicy yet delicate taste, as well as a fatty texture. Once you bite a piece of meat, it tends to melt in your mouth immediately.
You will see an amount of visible white fat appearing on capicola, which contributes greatly to tenderness in texture, especially in the slow cooker Cuban sandwich recipe.
Believe it or not, you might feel extremely regretful if you have not had a chance to treat your tastebuds well by tasting a delicious slice of meat.
If you are a gourmet, do not miss out on “hot Capicola,” also known as American-made Coppa. This meat is extremely spicy with the addition of hot red pepper, undoubtedly giving you a nice kick. Although it is quite expensive to eat at a local delicatessen, you can cook the dishes at home easily.
Recommended Capicola Substitute
There are a variety of Capicola substitutions for you to pick based on your preference. Let’s dive right in!
Capicola, cured ham, or prosciutto are all cold-cuts derived from pork and have many similar uses.
You will notice that both capicola and prosciutto are quite similar at first glance, which means that they can replace each other. Prosciutto and capicola all come with many thin slices of dry-cured pork and are served raw. However, their texture and flavor draw a remarkable distinction.
People use the muscle from the neck to the fifth rib of a pig to make capicola, and it tastes fatty, smoky, like softened beef jerky, as well as spicier and less salty. Meanwhile, the capocollo substitute is made from the hind leg and brings a savory and sharp taste.
Another notable dissimilarity lies in the brined meat that only prosciutto goes through this process.
Bresaola is another substitute for capicola as it is also rubbed down in spices, dry cure, and thinly sliced afterward. People often keep the meat for a few months, about two months, or years.
After this aging process, the meat will turn into an eye-catching purplish-red or dark-red color and get the signature lean’s slightly nutty yet sweet and musty flavor. Compared to the previous capicola substitute, bresaola is leaner and brings a milder taste.
Only a few Italian air-dried deli types of meat use beef during manufacturing, and bresaola is not an exception.
For this reason, people highly favor meat as one of the delicious capicola replacements, especially for those who do not like eating pork or are allergic to pork. Rest assured that you can utilize it in several recipes.
For example, many cooks chill and drizzle it with olive oil, then combine it with arugula, crackers, cheese, or other greens to serve as a unique dish. Using it as a pizza topping or adding it to a sauce for more flavor is also a good idea.
Apart from these two above, what can I use instead of capicola? Well, let’s consider salami, which is another type of Italian cured meat. This product includes a casing of ground pork or beef along with seasonings, then aged by hanging to raise flavor, making it relatively different from the capicola one.
This capicola substitute gains its popularity in charcuterie; especially there is an Italian-made one called soppressata that brings the erupting flavor of hot and sweet ingredients.
The last option on the list of capicola alternatives is mortadella, which is also sliced meat from Italy. However, people often consider the meat to bear more common things with bologna than capicola.
The combination of a paste of ground pork and the pistachios is what creates and highlights this food.
What Is The Difference Between Capicola And Prosciutto?
We have mentioned some different points between capicola prosciutto, but below is what we go into details. Scroll down!
Different Body Part Origin
The body part origin plays an important role in differentiating capicola from the prosciutto.
While the former uses the pork muscle from the neck to the fourth or fifth rib of the shoulder, the latter is obtained from the hind leg or the thigh. People tend to use the same cut for preparing hams.
The muscle meat of a pig is the only ingredient to make the best capicola.
On the contrary, prosciutto can be made using the meat of various animals, including pig, cow, goat, lamb, or other domestic animals, although a pig is the most common one.
If this product does not have any ingredient statement on the label, such as the version of beef, lamb, it means that manufacturers use pork meat here.
When it comes to the whole cut of meat, capicola has a more reasonable size than its opponent. The prosciutto product is normally an entire pig’s leg which is dry-cured for months on hooks. For this reason, you will find it expensive to purchase a prosciutto leg.
As mentioned early, capicola comes to the market at a cheaper price than prosciutto due to different sizes. This meat takes less time to get ready, about a few months, while the other needs at least two years. As a result, prosciutto costs twice as much as capicola.
Different Taste And Texture
Thanks to different ingredients, these two types of meat come with distinctive tastes and textures. To be more specific, capicola distributes fat evenly and looks more neat and beautiful when being sliced.
The other has a higher content of fat, appearing clearly in the edges of a meat slice. As such, the meat becomes tougher, and you will have to chew on the fat.
How To Serve Capicola?
You can serve capicola as an appetizer called Antipasto or in Italian grinders and subs, pizzas, risottos, omelettes, paninis, and savory pies.
What is more, it is extremely good to combine with muffuletta, a famous sandwich that is round and sesame bread. This food includes a pile of Italian slices of meat, spicy olive salad, and cheeses.
Hang on! There is still an endless list of capicola recipes below.
Some people add this Copa cola meat to melon, figs, mashed potatoes, roasted peppers, crackers, cheese, bread, olives, a full-bodied red wine, or more. Wrapping capacolla with asparagus spears or dates to make a thin slice and baking slightly or stuffing a chicken breast with capicola sausage is also a good idea.
Be creative, and you will have many mouth-watering dishes to eat!
Rest assured that you can use one of the capicola substitutes on our list to your recipes without changing the taste.