“What can I substitute for capicola?”- This is the most asked question when it comes time to make my Arrabbiata con Pollo which is one of the most popular recipes with good reason.
Replacing the capicola is actually very simple. Unlike other meats where it’s best to use a similar substitute, in this case, you actually want to use something different.
Capicola is salty, spicy meat with a unique flavor that I can’t really compare to anything else.
When people ask me for a nice capicola substitute, my second inquiry is always, “How hot do you want it to be?” Because capicola also contains a hint of heat, it’s just as crucial to replicate that as it is to replicate the flavor.
What kind of meat is capicola? What does capicola taste like?
Capicola is famous Italian meat obtained from pork meat, and its bottom part is called coppa.
Italian capicola is often served cold as an antipasto (starter) or in sandwiches such as the famous “Italian sub” (in Italy, this sandwich is known as “Panino farcito”).
The process of producing capicola is not unique to Italy; in fact, it is a tradition in several countries such as Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico.
It has an intensely flavored taste because it is cured before being packaged for sale in deli cases. The American version of capicola is more heavily cured and smoked than its Italian counterpart.
Is capicola ham or salami?
Both. Capicola ham and salami are Italian pork products named for the region of Italy from which they originate, Campania.
Both types of meat can be either dry or semi-dry cured, and they’re both made from a combination of coarsely ground pork shoulder (sometimes referred to as blade steak) and belly.
The difference between the two is in the cut of meat and the amount of fat marbling. Capicola ham has more fat marbling than salami, so it’s usually a little juicier and fattier.
Is capicola raw meat?
Probably, but it depends on the brand. Some brands use only freshly cut meats and spices that are cooked at low temperatures to preserve their natural flavor and nutrients.
Others will use cured or even processed meats, and some may not be cooked at all. If you cannot determine how the capicola is prepared, we recommend cooking it before eating.
What meat is similar to capicola?
It’s similar to the cured ham and prosciutto manufactured from pork; salame is identical to the more well-known cured ham or prosciutto. However, salame is often made with a distinct style of meat and can be served as an antipasto.
What can I use instead of capicola? (10 Capicola Substitutes)
1.PROSCIUTTO -capicola ham substitute
Prosciutto is an uncooked Italian ham. It has a fat content of about 30%, which makes it very tender and dry at the same time. The fat gets cooked out during the cooking process.
Prosciutto’s distinctive sweet smell comes from the sides of pork that are rubbed with salt and spices, such as garlic and pepper.
This slow-curing process takes three months for each side of the pork and results in very little fat but still remaining tender.
Use about 4 ounces of thinly sliced prosciutto in place of the capicola. It’s a pretty close substitution, and the only thing missing will be the ham flavor. Try some prosciutto substitutes, if you can’t find them.
2.BRESAOLA – A Good Alternative for Capicola
Bresaola is a dry seasoned Italian Salami with spicy pepper and garlic flavors. It’s usually made from beef or pork, with most of the fat removed, so you can really enjoy all of the flavors.
When creating your own gourmet sandwiches at home, why not use Bresaola instead of capicola next time?
The first step is to take apart your favorite sandwich. The key here is to determine how much Bresaola you’re going to want.
If it’s a large sandwich, then go ahead and slice a couple of slices per sandwich. However, if it’s a small sandwich inside, inside a larger one, you might want to cut half as many slices. This will ensure that you add just the right amount of flavor.
However, if you want to kick it up a notch, add some extra mozzarella and/or provolone cheese and toast it to melt the cheese and warm the sandwich.
3. LONZA – Similar Replacement of Capicola
Lonza is Cured pork tenderloin is found in various cuisines in Mediterranean Europe and South America. It is typically salted or brined, then dry-cured or smoked.
4.MORTADELLA – Easy Substitute for Capicola
Yes, you can absolutely use mortadella in place of the capicola. Mortadella may change color slightly when it cooks but will stay nice and moist.
Mortadella is an Italian sausage containing cubes of fat that make it smooth and creamy.
Mortadella has a strong flavor, so it is usually served as a side dish to milder flavored foods such as pasta, eggs, or rice. It is not eaten on its own since its flavor can be overwhelming.
In some areas of Italy, Mortadella is placed in a casing and smoked, which makes it even more flavorful.
5.PANCETTA – Affordable Capicola Substitute
Pancetta is an Italian cured meat, similar to bacon. It’s made from pork belly, and it has a strong taste.
This meat is not smoked, so it has a different flavor than American bacon. In Italy, they usually cook with pancetta in pasta dishes or pizza.
There’s also another kind of pancetta, called ‘sweet’ pancetta or ‘spianata,’ which is less salty and has a milder taste. This meat can be eaten raw and cooked in lasagna or on pizza.
If you want to make great antipasto while having a party at home, just get some pancetta, and your guests will be impressed!
6. SALAMI A Wildly Equivalent Alternative to Capicola
Salami sausage is a cured sausage (fresh and raw meat mixed with spices and salt, which has been dried and fermented for preservation) that originated hundreds of years ago in Italy.
Originally made from beef, pork, or mutton, today’s salami includes many different types of meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, and even horsemeat.
You can Easily include salami instead of capicola in the recipe that calls for it. It can also mix with vegetables such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers.
Salami has a characteristic flavor that comes from the mix of spices added to the meat (such as peppercorns, fennel, and garlic) and a strong taste because of the long fermentation process.
7. NDUJA -Hot Capicola Substitute
There’s no better way to enjoy the summertime than with a ‘Nduja grilled cheese sandwich! These spicy, spreadable pork sausages from southern Italy.
‘Nduja is similar to Soppressata and capicola, different in many ways, but definitely have their own unique flavor.
The sunny yellow orbs get minced together before being stuffed into large casings. They later get smoked, creating soft, tasty dishes perfect at your next dinner party or by themselves back home when alone, whether used fresh outta the oven if making lasagna…or devoured after an evening watching soccer games.
8.FINOCCHIONA – Excellent Capicola Alternate
A Tuscany favorite, Finocchiona is made by mixing chopped pork with fennel seeds and red wine to create an unforgettable medley.
It’s characterized by the use of fennel- an ingredient that provides both flavor and aroma to this meaty product! You can use Finocchiona to replace Capicola in the various recipe.
It’s then fermented before it’s dried for at least five months to give off its signature flavor that you can enjoy on any dish alternative to capicola.
9. SOPPRESSATA Another Similar Replacement for Capicola
Soppressata is another substitute that can use for capicola in your recipe like grilling, sandwich, and so on. It is an Italian dry salame made from the leftover parts of pigs.
Two principal types are produced: a cured sausage and a very different uncured type with sharper flavors that can be used like capicola in your recipes like grilling or sandwich filling to add some variety when you’re tired of using just prosciutto across Europe!
How to make Homemade Capicola
Capicola can be made at home with a few simple steps.
Ingredients you will need about
- · 5 pounds of pork shoulder,
- · 1/4 cup of salt,
- · 2 tablespoons of crushed red peppers,
- · ½ onion finely diced,
- · 1 tablespoon of fennel seed,
- · 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and
- · 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
You can have Capicola either raw or cooked.
How to Use Capicola
How you use Capicola may depend on what type of food you cook.
Generally, Capicola is used in Italian dishes or mixed with other sausage meat.
You may use it to make various sandwiches and subs if you prefer the harder casing removed before eating. Recipes that include capicola range from appetizers to pasta dishes and sandwiches.
Is Capicola spicy hot? What makes capicola spicy?
Capicola is spicy meat made from pork shoulder. The word Capicola comes from the Italian word for “Cappy,” which refers to the pig’s head it came from.
This cut of meat is ground up and stuffed inside natural hog casing or beef middles, making what we call “Hot!” links, Peppers/Pepperoni, Stuffed Diameter ends…etc.
Capicola is usually at its spicy best when cooked with hot red peppers.
As so many people have asked the question “What Makes Capicola Spicy Hot?” The short answer is red pepper or capsicum (capsaicin).
The more common way to get it hot is to soak the meat chunks in red pepper before stuffing.
After it’s been stuffed, you can let the Capicola dry out a little bit or not, depending on your preferences. You can include hot red peppers inside the sausage as well!
Is capicola the same as prosciutto?
The answer is yes and no. They are similar in that both are cured meats, but prosciutto is a type of ham while capicola refers to a cut of pork.
Capicola is essentially the same as prosciutto. The names are interchangeable, and both refer to dry-cured ham that has been seasoned with black pepper.
Capicola can be found in most grocery stores labeled as prosciutto or sometimes even jamón serrano (Spanish for “mountain ham”).
Is capicola a pepperoni?
No. Capicola is not a pepperoni. The word “pepperoni” means “little peppers.”
By definition, pepperoni is an Italian-American cured salami made with beef and pork seasoned with cayenne pepper.
Capicola comes from the Italian word for the collar of the pig, which it resembles. It is made with pork shoulder that is seasoned and slowly cured.
Capicola is also called coppa (or the more Italian pronunciation of “gabagool”), which some say came about because the pronunciation of capicola in some regions of New Jersey where many Italian-Americans have roots sounds like “capacolla.”
My All-Time Favourite Substitute for Capicola
Wrap Up On Substitutes for Capicola
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it has helped you find a substitute for capicola.
Please leave me a comment on which replacement of capicola you like the most.
If any alternates are not mentioned in this list, please mention them below and share your favorite one with us.
Check More- 7 Best Substitutes for Cajun Seasoning and Adobo Sauce
FAQs Related To Capicola & Its Alternatives
Q1. What is an authentic Italian sandwich?
An authentic Italian sandwich is not the one you find in every corner shop or petrol station, but it is not the most grotesque creation of an American’s imagination.
My idea of a ‘real’ Italian sandwich is somewhere between these two extremes.
-It has to be made with quality ingredients, and it must be fresh.
-The bread needs to be crunchy outside and soft inside.
To me, a good Italian sandwich is not one you eat quickly while standing up or taking away; it’s one to be enjoyed with people around you who are sharing the same experience too.
Q2. Is capicola pork?
Yes, Capicola is pork. The name capicola originates from ‘cappicolla,’ which means ‘Capocollo.’ It refers to the part of the pig from which this product comes.
Capicola is a pork-derived cold cut that is generally made from the pig’s shoulder, though it can also be produced using other cuts of meat.
It has been described as a “coarse-grained” and “rustic” deli meat or salami, with a distinctive fatty orange rind surrounding the pinkish-red, coarsely ground meat.
Q3. Are capicola and capocollo the same thing?
No. Some people say that they are, but they’re not.
What’s the difference?
The names “capicola” and “capocollo” are actually different forms of the same word derived from Italian.
Although both terms refer to cured pork shoulder meat, these products have essential differences.
Capicola is made from the pork’s shoulder, while capocollo is made from the pork neck.
Capicola is dry-cured with salt and spices for a short period (usually about two weeks). At the same time, capocollo is also dry-cured but with an extended curing process taking many months to produce the finished product.