Capicola vs Prosciutto – What’s the Difference?

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The human body needs protein, fats, vitamins and many other nutrients to work properly. Proteins are a necessary diet component as they help make hormones, enzymes, various muscles and are a source of energy. Fats mostly in the form of fatty acids metabolize into glucose to be used as an energy source to cells.

 Meat is a source of proteins and many vitamins. Demand for meat has been increasing globally over the past 50 years. The world produces millions of tons of meat each year to the demand. Millions of animals are slaughtered in industries just to meet their needs.

Meat is a complete protein food that contains all the amino acids necessary for the body. Beef, lamb, pork and mutton are considered red meat. It provides iron, zinc and vitamins like vitamin B. Pork or pig meat is one of the most consumed meat worldwide.


Pork is the most consumed meat all over the world. Although it is forbidden in Islam and Christianity, people worldwide are fond of it. Pork is a source of various nutrients, especially proteins and necessary vitamins. It can be used as cooked, smoked or cured meat. Mostly it is consumed as cured meat. Salami is salted meat blended with fat, salt, garlic, paprika, etc. It is added to it, preserved for days or months, and then eaten.

Capicola and prosciutto both are types of salami dry-cured meat. They both are a good source of protein and are made from pork. Capicola contains less fat content than distributed equally in the meat, while prosciutto contains higher fat concentration mostly at edges. Both have great taste and buttery texture. During manufacturing, the process of salting removes blood, moisture and some harmful bacteria from the pork. Both are traditional Italian food and are mostly served as thin sliced.

Due to their resemblance in the manufacturing process, people confuse them in many other ways. They think that Capicola and prosciutto are the same while not, so here we discuss how Capicola and prosciutto are different.

What is Capicola?

Before knowing the difference between Capicola and prosciutto, we need to understand what exactly it is. Capicola is a slice of traditional Italian pork made from the neck and shoulder muscles. It is a lump of dry-cured salted meaty shoulder and neck muscles named coppa, which is why it is also called coppa or copocollo.

The Capicola can be processed at home as well. Capicola making includes steps, i.e., curing, drying and maturing. First, we take the coppa muscles, then start by trimming and curing them for some days. Cured meat means meat is preserved through aging, drying, canning, salting, brining or smoking in the curing chamber. This is done for storing the meat. After curing, scrape off the excess salt from the coppo. Then prickle it with a needle and tie it with bactoferm mold-600.

Place the coppo in a humidity-controlled fridge or curing chamber for drying. After seven days, the coppo shows traces of white mold development. The last step is to mature the meat in the curing chamber for three months. Slice it into thin, small cuts and enjoy it when it is ready.

Capicola is often served as a gourmet food item. It is sliced thin to often used in sandwiches, pizza, panini and subs. Capicola is versatile, so it is mostly served as an appetizer with cornichon, dijon, focaccia. It can also be paired with cheddar cheese.

What is Prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a slice of pork made from the pig’s hind leg. It is dry-cured, either cooked or uncooked. It is high-quality pork legs that can be eaten raw. It is a salami that is made after a long process of 24 months or 2 years. It is also a portion of traditional Italian food so that you can expect plenty of flavors and a strong aroma.

Its preparation includes the steps, i.e., curing, drying and maturing. Prosciutto is prepared the same as Capicola in that it is passed through a curing process in which it is preserved for some days but longer than Capicola, then passed through drying and at the end maturing. Its time in the curing chamber is longer than Capicola. It takes about 24 months to mature in the curing chamber because of its large size. Prosciutto can be eaten uncooked because of its high salt content and long curing time during preparation.  

Prosciutto can be either be sliced or a whole leg. It can be served as a slice, or it can be taken as a wrap, or used in sandwiches, mostly it takes as a slice or full leg. It is paired with sharp and intense dry cheese. But this is just one traditional way to consume this delicious treat, and you can choose however you want to eat it.

So What’s the Difference Between Capicola and Proscuitto?

Both Capicola and prosciutto are made from pork, so many people think they are the same. But they are different for their location, cut, preservation time, texture and many other ways. Here we discuss some points that can differentiate Capicola from Proscuitto.

Capicola comes from the neck and shoulder muscles of the pig, while prosciutto comes from the hind of the pig. Capicola contains less fat content as compared to prosciutto. Fat in Capicola is uniformly distributed all over the meat cut, while in prosciutto Proscuitto fat is present at the edges of the limb. Capicola is smaller, while prosciutto is a large limb piece. Other differences include:

  • The preserving time for the Capicola is for about 6 months, while prosciutto is preserved for a long time of 24 months.
  • Capicola is a cooked sliced, while prosciutto can be cooked or non-cooked.
  • Prosciutto takes a long time for preparation and is large, so it costs two times compared to Capicola.
  • Capicola is smoky while prosciutto is unsmoked.