Soppressata Cilentana

Cilento (Salerno), Campania

soppressata cilentana – Text and Photo courtesy of Regione Campania

In Cilento, in the province of Salerno, and in the nearby towns a very tasty fumigated meat is produced: soppressata. It is typically produced only during winter, using lean pig first choice meat, hand cut and then seasoned with salt and pepper, and more rarely, with chili pepper and fennel seeds.

The mixture is mixed several times to allow the ingredients to blend together, it is then left to rest a few minutes and then shaped with natural intestine.

The soppressata produced in Gioi Cilento, a specific town of the Cilento area, is charactertised by a unique particularity: is it the only fat centered (lardellato) meat of Campania. In fact a filet of fat is inserted in the center the whole length of the meat from which the adjective “lardellato”.

The meat is aged about 40 days in well ventilated rooms; soppressata is then fumigated with wood son that the smoke can enhance its characteristic intense pig meat and spices aroma.

The finished product is usually 8-10 cm of diameter and 15-18 cm long, it has a redbrown colour with a white heart and it can be preserved in olive oil or, rarely, in lard, to keep it fresh until the summer.

Traditionally hung near the hearth to age and acquire a delicate smoky aroma. Sometimes conserved in olive oil or lard; may contain pork blood or ground sweet peppers for a brighter red color.