What Is Cappy Ham? The Ultimate Guide

If you’re a fan of Italian cold cuts, you may have heard of capicola, a dry-cured ham that’s a staple in many Italian households. But have you ever heard of cappy ham?

This lesser-known cousin of capicola is a cooked ham coated with paprika and spices, and it’s a popular ingredient in sandwiches and antipasto platters.

In this article, we’ll explore the origins and characteristics of cappy ham, and how it differs from its more famous relative.

So sit back, grab a slice of your favorite Italian bread, and let’s dive into the world of cappy ham.

What Is Cappy Ham?

Cappy ham is a type of cooked ham that’s coated with paprika and other spices. It’s made from pork muscle, which gives it a leaner texture compared to capicola, which is made from the head and shoulder of the pig.

While capicola is dry-cured and aged, cappy ham is cooked and ready to eat. It’s often sliced thin and used in sandwiches or antipasto platters, where its smoky flavor and spicy coating add a delicious kick.

The Origins Of Cappy Ham

Cappy ham has its origins in Italy, where it was originally known as “Cappocollo,” a type of salami made from cured, dried pork. The word “cappy” is derived from the Italian word “Cappocollo.” However, in the United States, cappy ham is made using pork muscle and cooked with hot and spicy ingredients to create a unique flavor.

Italian immigrants brought their love for cured meats to the United States, and cappocollo soon became a popular delicacy in Italian-American communities. Over time, the pronunciation and spelling of the word changed, and it became known as “cappy ham” or “capicola.”

Today, cappy ham is a popular choice for those looking for a leaner alternative to traditional hams. It contains fewer calories and fat than other varieties, making it a healthier option for those watching their diet. The spicy coating also adds a delicious flavor to any dish it’s added to.

Whether you’re using it in sandwiches, antipasto platters, or as part of your breakfast scramble or omelet, cappy ham is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal. Its unique flavor and lean texture make it a popular choice for those looking for something different than traditional hams.

How Cappy Ham Is Made

Cappy ham is made by first selecting high-quality pork muscle, typically from the hind leg of the pig. The meat is then trimmed of any excess fat and other unwanted parts. Once the meat is ready, it’s coated with a mixture of paprika, spices, and natural flavorings. This coating gives the ham its signature orange color and spicy flavor.

Next, the ham is cooked using a variety of methods, including smoking, baking, or boiling. The cooking process can take several hours to ensure that the ham is fully cooked and safe to eat.

Once the ham is cooked, it’s sliced thin and packaged for sale. Cappy ham is a popular choice for sandwiches and antipasto platters due to its mild flavor and versatility.

While cappy ham may not have the same level of complexity as capicola, it’s a delicious and easy-to-use option for anyone looking to add some Italian-inspired flavor to their meals.

The Flavor Profile Of Cappy Ham

Cappy ham has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other types of ham. Its spicy coating, made with paprika and piquant spices, gives it a bold and zesty taste. The spices also add a smoky aroma that makes it even more enticing.

Compared to other hams, cappy ham has a smoother texture and is less fatty, making it a healthier option for those who love ham but want to watch their calorie intake. With only 60 calories per serving and 1 gram of total fat per serving, cappy ham is a guilt-free pleasure.

Cappy ham can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and salads to pizzas and pastas. Its bold flavor makes it an excellent addition to breakfast scrambles or omelets, and it can even be used as a topping for burgers and hotdogs.

Cappy Ham Vs. Capicola: What’s The Difference?

Although both cappy ham and capicola are made from pork, there are some key differences between the two. Capicola is a dry-cured meat that’s aged for several months, while cappy ham is cooked and ready to eat. Capicola is made from the head and shoulder of the pig, while cappy ham is made from pork muscle.

Another difference between the two is their texture. Capicola is typically more tender and has a melt-in-your-mouth quality, whereas cappy ham is leaner and has a firmer texture. Capicola also has a more complex flavor profile, with hints of black pepper and other spices, while cappy ham has a smoky flavor with a spicy coating of paprika.

In terms of usage, capicola is often used in Italian sandwiches and antipasto platters, while cappy ham is more commonly used as a lunch meat. Both meats are delicious in their own right and can add a distinct flavor to any dish they’re used in.

How To Enjoy Cappy Ham In Your Meals

If you’re looking to incorporate cappy ham into your meals, there are plenty of ways to do so. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Sandwiches: Cappy ham is a perfect addition to any sandwich. Its bold flavor pairs well with other Italian cold cuts like mortadella, salami, and provolone cheese. You can also add it to a classic ham and cheese sandwich for a twist on a familiar favorite.

2. Salads: If you’re looking for a healthier option, try adding cappy ham to your salads. Its lean texture makes it a great source of protein without adding too many calories. You can also use it as a salad topper for an extra kick of flavor.

3. Pizza: Cappy ham makes a great pizza topping. Its spicy coating adds an extra layer of flavor to your favorite pizza toppings. Try it on a classic Margherita pizza or add it to your own custom creation.

4. Breakfast: Cappy ham can be used in breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. Its smoky flavor pairs well with eggs and cheese for a hearty breakfast dish.

5. Appetizers: Cappy ham can be used as an appetizer wrapped around cheese or served on an antipasto platter with other Italian cold cuts and cheeses.

When incorporating cappy ham into your meals, keep in mind that it does contain sodium, so be mindful of your daily intake. But with its unique flavor and lean texture, cappy ham is a delicious and versatile addition to any meal or snack.

Where To Find Cappy Ham

If you’re interested in trying cappy ham for yourself, there are a few places you can find it. The first place to check is your local deli or specialty meat shop. Many delis carry Boar’s Head brand cappy ham, which is known for its high quality and traditional Italian preparation.

You can also find cappy ham at some grocery stores, either in the deli section or pre-packaged in the meat aisle. Look for brands that use natural spices and paprika to ensure you’re getting an authentic cappy ham experience.

If you prefer to shop online, there are a variety of websites that offer cappy ham for purchase. Some of these sites specialize in Italian meats and cheeses, while others offer a wider selection of gourmet foods. Just be sure to check reviews and ratings before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting a quality product.