Coppa Piacentina (Piacenza cured ham)

From Cookipedia

Coppa Piacentina


DOP Coppa Piacentina is an Italian salted, naturally cured pork product, preserved uncooked, in a casing made from the parietal peritoneum of pigs or from the colon or rectum of cattle. The finished product has a cylindrical shape that is slightly narrower at the ends. The texture is firm, inelastic, and when sliced, it is homogeneous, of a red colour interspersed with pinkish white in the marbled parts. Fresh pig thighs from animals born, raised and slaughtered in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy and which meet production rule requirements are used for the raw material.


The making of Coppa Piacentina takes place in the area of the Province of Piacenza, limited to those areas no higher than 900 metres elevation.


The making of Piacenza processed pork products, and especially of Coppa Piacentina, has taken place since Roman times and has been handed down over time, becoming concentrated in the geographic area defined above. The history of the product goes back to the development of a typical rural culture common to the entire Po Valley, the area supplying the raw materials, which are then processed in an area which is much smaller and which has well-established, particular traditions regarding this product. The product's origin is thus connected with the spreading of pig-breeding in the area and with the particular climatic conditions. Historical references to Coppa Piacentina are found in the gastronomic traditions of the Po Valley. At the present time, the production rules follow the lines of the already existing specific national regulations for the designation of origin prosciutti of Parma and San Daniele.


Coppa Piacentina production includes the following stages: dry-salting; rubbing; covering with animal casings; tying; drying and aging.


The requirements for Coppa Piacentina depend on the environmental conditions and on natural and human factors. In particular, the unique character of the raw material is strictly tied to the defined supply geographic macrozone, while the justification for the production of Coppa Piacentina lies in the microzone defined above. In the area which supplies the raw material, the development of livestock-breeding is linked to the extensive cultivation of grains and to the processing of dairy products, which is particularly specialised, making the area very suitable for pigbreeding.

The justification for the localised production of Coppa Piacentina lies in the particular conditions of the microzone. The environmental factors are closely tied to the characteristics of the production area, where cool, wide valleys with abundant water and hilly wooded areas predominate, having a great influence on the climate which, in turn, has a great influence on the particular qualities of the finished product. The set of "raw material - product - name" is linked to the specific socioeconomic development of this geographic area, with certain characteristics irreproducible elsewhere.

Reference: The European Commission