Soppressata di Calabria

Soppressata di Calabria PDO is produced in Calabria and possesses the following characteristics: length between 10 - 18 cm (4 – 7”) and diameter between 4 - 8 cm (1.6 – 3”); when cut it is firm to soft, with a natural red or bright red color depending on the ingredients used in the mixture. Soppressata di Calabria is a product evolved in Calabrian tradition and practice. The skill of the operators in selecting the cuts of meat from locally grown and slaughtered pigs, as well as the use of spices and natural aromas, plays the major role in preparing Soppressata di Calabria.

Lean pork: leg, shoulder, loin850 g1.87 lb
Back fat, fat trimmings from the front of the loin150 g0.33 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt28 g5 tsp
Cure #22.5 g1/2 tsp
Pepper1.0 g1/2 tsp
Peppercorns, whole2.0 g1 tsp
Dextrose1.0 g1/5 tsp
Sugar1.0 g1/5 tsp
Cinnamon0.5 g1/4 tsp
Red peppers, ground1.0 g1/2 tsp
Cloves0.3 g1/8 tsp
Garlic3.0 g1 clove
Red wine10 ml2 tsp
Starter culture, T-SPX0.12 guse scale
  1. Grind lean meat through 5/16” (8 mm) plate.
  2. Cut fat into 1/4” (6 mm) cubes.
  3. 30 minutes before mixing dissolve starter culture in 1 tablespoon de-chlorinated water.
  4. Mix lean meat with all ingredients. Add fat cubes and mix again.
  5. Stuff into large 40-80 mm hog casings, middles or bungs. Make links 16-24” (40-60 cm) long.
  6. Ferment at 20º C (68º F) for 72 hours, 90 → 85% humidity.
  7. Dry at 15-12º C (59-54º F), 85→75% decreasing humidity for 40-80 days, depending on diameter. The sausage is dried until around 30-35% in weight is lost.
  8. Store sausages at 10-15º C (50-59º F), <75% humidity.
Soppressata di Calabria PDO received PDO certificate of origin on January 21, 1998.

The geographical area of production

The geographical area of production lies in the south of Italy and is characterized by a warm-temperate climate with low rainfall concentrated in the winter period. The territory is mainly hilly and mountainous, but, due to its peninsular location, it has over 800 km of coastline on the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. The combination of sea, hills and mountains makes for a specific Mediterranean climate. The area in which ‘Soppressata di Calabria’ is produced and processed is characterized by its typical southern Italian climate with low rainfall, mainly concentrated in the winter period, and its geographical location which also provides for ventilation and temperature variation, thus maintaining optimum conditions within the maturing premises.


The meat used in ‘Soppressata di Calabria’ must come from pigs reared in the Calabria Region. The pigs' genetic properties must match those typical of Italian heavy pigs, found in traditional large breeds. The average weight of a batch of pigs at slaughter must be at least 140 kg. The meat of boars and sows may not be used. The pigs must be fed on compound feeding stuffs containing at least 50% barley, field beans, corn, acorns or chickpeas. Cassava, potatoes or by-products that could give the meat and fat undesirable flavors and odors may not be used in the feed. In order to ensure that the meat is sufficiently compact for fattening, it is forbidden to feed the animals with swill. Feeding with swill means the use of dairy by-products. For at least the last two months before slaughter, the feed must be high on proteins, of which it must contain not less than 1%.
Meat: the rear leg-ham (not less than 50%), the shoulder and/or the fillet (not more than 50%), with selected fat from the front of the loin, close to the neck, back fat. The percentage of selected fat in the mixture should be between 4% and 15% for each kilogram of processed meat.
Ingredients: salt, whole or ground black pepper, strong or mild pepperoncino/peperone, ground and/or as a purée, wine, spices and natural aromas. The following ingredients are also allowed: sucrose (common sugar), dextrose, ascorbic acid (E 300), sodium ascorbate (E 301), potassium nitrate (E 252), sodium nitrite (E 250), starter culture.
Processing: non-frozen pork meat and fat are selected at 0 – 3° C (32 – 38° F) internal temperature. The ground meat and fat are mixed with all ingredients and stuffed into natural pork casings and tied with butcher twine. The diameter of the sausage is 4-8 cm (1.75 – 3”) and its length 40 – 60 cm (16 – 24”). . Soppressata di Calabria intended purely to be sold sliced and vacuum-packed or packed in a protective atmosphere may be wrapped in edible collagen casings and have a length of between 40 and 60 cm. ‘Soppressata di Calabria’ must be left to mature for at least 45 days.

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