the meat is then kept in a brine for 3 days, then is placed within a thin layer of fat sprinkled with black pepper, wild fennel seeds, and dried red chili flakes then tied tightly with string to completely enclose it. it is then left to cure from 6months to 2years.
the capicollo is not only considered because of the breed of pigs, the production methods but also the living conditions of the pigs - they are kept semi wild - meaning enclosed with a fabulous mountain top, sea view (did i mention it was another steep steep hill for us to climb? calabrians must have nice legs and toned butts). the fact that the pigs are free to walk around their pens and not kept in cages attributes to the meat's color and fat distribution. they are happy pigs with curly-q tails.
happy pigs and their sicilian view
our lunch was two huge long buffet tables filled with food - i've never seen so many people drool with excitement and anxiously stand to wait their turn in line. we had salumi grecanici/cured meat assortment, formaggi grecanici, ricottine, fritta di cipolle/onion fritatta, uova con curcuci grecanici/hard-boiled egg filled with crunchy pork, porchetta grecanica, polpette di carne suina e polpette di melanzane/pork and eggplant meatballs, cardi avvolti nel lardo del suino nero grecanico/fried battered artichoke wrapped in calabrian black pig lard, zuppa di fagioli con cotenna di suino/bean stew with pork rind, antico arrosto "omerico" con verdure di stagione/wilted fennel greens, frutta di stagione/seasonal fruit: loquats, and mandorle 'nturrate/crunchy sweet nut brittle and then of course the roasted pork meat and another one that was cooked in a clay pot. it was such an array of food, i of course had to try one of each, which equates to three photographs of my plate: