So called because it is pressed under a weight to squeeze out excess moisture. The best sopressata comes from Calabria, where it is mostly artisanal, using the best cuts of pork and ham from acorn-fed pigs up in the Sila. The Basilicata is also known for it. Sopressata cilentano from southern Campania is a smoked version.
sopressata from Tuscany and Liguria tends to use the cheaper cuts, including the head.
Several kinds are in the Ark of Taste:
soperzata di Rivello: a very traditional, very red sopressata made the old fashioned way in medieval Basilicata
soppressata della Sila: the famous one from Calabria. If not eaten after its six month curing, it can be preserved in a number of ways—in oil, in ashes, or oats.
soppressata di Decollatura: another one made in Calabria from lean, acorn-fed pigs, and flavoured with a sauce of pizzo calabro peppers.
soppressata di Gioi: Campania's smoked version, with some lard in the centre to keep the meat moist.
soppressata di San Gregorio Magno: a prime quality meat, made with bacon usually smoked. Also from Campania.
Images by: Jeffrey Bary