We’re still full of excitement about our new products from Negrar, so this week’s special comes from the same butcher and is as famous as last week’s porchetta. However, unlike porchetta which is produced across Italy, sopressa is particular to the north-east, and especially the Veneto region. It is also the multi-award winning speciality of Macelleria Caprini, and the product they are most proud of.
Sopressa is made with the best cuts: the Caprini brothers use meat from the loin, ham, shoulder and coppa for theirs. Eugenio Caprini butchers the meat with a knife to remove all the tendons and sinews, and then minces it finely. He adds salt, pepper, garlic and Amarone wine, another traditional ingredient which is produced by Luciano Caprini. This is then put into natural casings and bound by hand with needle and cord.
The sopresse are hung to dry for 4-5 days in a room heated to 20-25C, then mature for a further 6 months in 16-20C, with 70-90% humidity. This slow, gentle ageing, and the relatively high fat content, makes the resulting sopressa so tender that it is almost spreadable, with a very rich flavour. Like the porchetta, it also goes extremely well with polenta, or on bread as a mid-morning snack.
The brothers slaughter the pigs themselves, at a rate of only five a week between October and May. However, they start a limited production earlier in September to have some ready for christmas. The locals like it fresh, but we waited an extra month and now have some of this first batch at the arch, just ready to enjoy.