PDO Coppa Piacentina is a cured cold cut made using the cervical muscles of the pig. As with many regional culinary specialities, the history of this cold cut has close ties with the area it is made in, the Piacenza province. An example of this connection can be found in the depiction of the “sacred” ritual of pig slaughter in the mosaic inside the San Colombano abbey in Bobbio, which dates back to the 12th century, as proof that charcuterie was being made in the Piacenza area as far back as Medieval times.
The coppa cold cut is made using a very specific procedure. Firstly, whilst the pigs may be farmed and butchered in the Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy regions, the meat can only be processed in the area of the Piacenza province. The various stages consist of dry salt-curing with a mix of salt and spices, massaging, binding, drying and ageing for at least six months.
From this process emerges a red and pinky white coloured cold cut that is sweet and intense in flavour, which you can sample at events such as the Festa della Coppa Piacentina DOP festival, organised by the grassroots association in Carpaneto.
PDO Coppa Piacentina is usually enjoyed as an appetiser, cut into thin slices or cubes and served with cheese and local DOC (controlled designation of origin) Colli Piacentini wine.
It may also be used as an ingredient in pasta sauces, where it is fried in the pan with butter to make linguine pasta with Piacenza coppa and pesto, for example.