Decollatura Soppressata

Ark of taste
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Father Fiore, historian of the Eighteenth century, writes that Decollatura, a village near the mountains of Sila, in the province of Catanzaro, ‘in situated in very salubrius and perfect climate, and is abundant in all the things the mankind needs’. Here in fact there is plenty of oak and chestnut woods, renowned potatoes, chick peas, figs, prickly pears, apples: once products ‘necessary for the life of mankind’, now not so much. But excellent to breed top-quality pigs: it is not by chance that Decollatura is now famous for its sausages, in particolar for its extraordinary Soppressata. In the whole region of Calabria the slaughter of pork and the curing of its meat is still a ceremony with an almost sacral aura. There is no farmer’s family who does not produce capocolli, sausages, nduja and soppressata for their personal use. Decollatura Soppressata are particularly renowned and many are the consumers heading to the village every year to get some. This is a result of the quality of the pork used, from free-range animals fed with foodscraps, acorns, bran, wild herbs, apples, pears, figs according to the different Seasons and slaughtered in January, when they are no lighter than 180-200 kg. Then it is the skill of the local sausage-makers to complete the work.   Lean meat from thighs (raw ham is not very common in Calabria) and fillet are cut into small pieces and mixed with fat from the neck (zicchinettu); everything is then mixed for a long time in a kneading trough with salt and pepper sauce, made with red Pizzo Calabro peppers (pizzitani) briskly boiled, sieved and quickly thickened. The so-seasoned meat is left and sit for a night, then it is stuffed in pork intestines, in particular in the bladder, which yields the biggest and the best Soppressata, suited for long ageing. The sausages are then dried in a cool room, with the help of smoke from a brazier or a fireplace.   Soppressata lasts long, for months, just needing to be rubbed with water and vinegar from time to time. When they are perfectly aged they release when pressed with a finger the typical drop, a dense and clean fat tear, sign of excellence.

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Cured meats and meat products