PGI Coppa di Parma is a typical cold cut that takes its name from the city of Parma in the Emilia region, but it is also produced in the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, Pavia and municipalities along the river Po in the provinces of Lodi, Milan and Cremona.
As a popular cold cut from the 17th century onwards, and cited as a delicacy since the 18th century, Coppa di Parma is made from the muscular part of pork neck.
Methods to make this cold cut are very precise: the raw ingredient first undergoes a salt-curing process that can last for six to 10 days, after which natural aromas, pepper and other spices are added, and the product is stuffed in an intestine casing and knotted with twine and left to dry out. Then ageing begins, which can vary from 60 days to six months, allowing the coppa to take on its characteristic flavour as it dries out.
The end result is a melt-in-the-mouth, delicately flavoured cold cut that is not too salty. To preserve its fragrant aroma, Coppa di Parma should be kept in a cool, damp place; once opened, it will keep best in the fridge wrapped in a damp, cotton cloth.
One of the quickest and simplest ways to try PGI Coppa di Parma is to serve it as an appetiser with slices of bread hot off the grill and vegetable pâté, perhaps washed down with a glass of dry white wine. Alternatively, it makes for a delicious addition to salads, with pumpkin, red lettuce, apple and pecorino, mature sheep's cheese.