Soppressata di Calabria – Step by Step Video Tutorial

Time for another salami recipe. This week’s recipe is no ordinary salami though, it’s Soppressata di Calabria.

So what makes this air cured sausage so special. Well for starters it’s not cylindrical like most salami. It’s oblong. This shape comes from the act of pressing the salami during the initial stages of processing and fermenting. Matter of fact the very name soppressata is derived from the word “soppressare” which means “to press or the act of pressing”. So a purist could argue that if it’s not pressed then it’s not sopressata.

There are many gastronomical wonders that come from the Calabrian region. This one could quite possibly be the most famous (nduja is right up there as well). The unique selection of Calabrian peppers in this soppressata give it a smokey and uniquely spicy flavor. Don’t try to use cayenne pepper or chili powder for this recipe if you want to call it Calabrian. It won’t even be close. You can get Calabrian pepper powder and Calabrian pepper flakes at your local Italian grocer (usually). If you don’t have one close by Amazon will be your best bet.

Another thing that makes this air dried sausage unique is that it’s fermented. Fermentation happens when the bacteria present in the mince meat begin to eat digestible sugars and release lactic acid. This process acidifies the soppressata (which is one of the things that makes it safe to eat) and at the same time gives it very unique flavor, aroma, color, and texture characteristics. The Italians who have been doing this for many many years already have areas where these bacteria are naturally present. Unfortunately we do not, so if we want to produce this sopressata safely at home we need to add these beneficial bacteria to our process. The one I’m using in this recipe is called T-SPX.

T-SPX is a great starter culture for beginners and experienced salumist alike as it is a slow fermenting culture. A slow fermenting culture allows the bacteria to slowly develop that rich flavor, incredible aroma, and beautiful color without acidifying your sopressata to much. After all sopressata di Calabria is not a tangy salami. It’s a mild, smoky, spicy, flavorful salami that will leave a lasting impression on your from the very first bite!! The best way to determine when your sopressata is ready is to monitor the pH during fermentation. With TSP-X you are looking for a target pH of 5.0-5.3. I highly recommend investing in a good quality pH tester as part of your arsenal. My personal favorite is the Apera Instruments PH60S-Z pH meter. This portable/handheld unit is reliable, fast, and has so many features that will help you product excellent charcuterie!

Enjoy the video presentation of how I make Soppressata di Calabria from beginning to end. If you have any questions or thoughts be sure to let me know in the comment section. I’ve added a printable recipe with adjustable quantities for your convenience.

Here are a few items we used to make this recipe:

If you want to see all the items we use in our projects like humidifiers, temp controllers, and all that stuff be sure to check out my amazon storefront. I have everything listed under it’s very own category. If you buy something from my storefront I get a very tiny percentage at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog. It is greatly appreciated

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Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Sopressata Di Calabria

A spicy "pressed" salami that is out of control!!
Prep Time2 hrs
Drying Time60 d
Total Time60 d 2 hrs

If you are making sausage adjust the servings to reflect the total weight of your meat and fat

Servings: 2270 grams



  • Grind chilled pork (35F-37F) and half the fat through the 6mm plate and grind the rest of the chilled fat through the 10mm plate. (This will give you nice fat marbling)
  • Prepare all the seasonings and prepare the starter culture and set to the side. You starter culture needs about 30 minutes to "wake-up" before use.
  • Mix the meat, seasonings, and culture together till the mince is tacky and looks like it's fuzzy. You mince meat will be very sticky
  • Stuff your mince tightly into a 76 mm salami casing making sure there are no air pockets. Tie the end well to ensure that it doesn't come open. Weigh your salami and record the weight
  • Prick your salami to get rid of any air pockets and brush your salami with the prepared mold 600 solution (if you are using this)
  • Ferment your salami at 65F with 85-90% humidity for 48-72 hours (these parameters are for this culture, other culture require different parameters). Place heavy weights on your sopressata during this step to achieve that "pressed" look
  • Test the pH at 48 hours to see where you are at. You are aiming for a ph between 5.0 and 5.2.
  • Once you have reached your target pH place your salami in your drying chamber at 55F with 80% Humidity. Let it dry in this chamber until you have reached a 38%-40% weight loss.

4 thoughts on “Soppressata di Calabria – Step by Step Video Tutorial

  1. Anthony Marriott
    Anthony Marriott

    Love watching your video’s. I have Learnt so much from watching your video’s Of you making salami I just want to say thank you. I have a of cola and pancetta In my curing chamber at the moment. I can not wait to see what you are doing next. Thanks again for inspiring me to make salami. I live in Australia and we can’t get the stuff you guys get from the Sausage maker. I have email them but the Price of shipping is too expensive.

    1. Eric

      Hey Anthony, Thanks for the message. I can’t wait to hear how your projects turn out. Sorry to hear about the $$$ to get sausage maker’s stuff. Keep in touch..

  2. Devon

    Just about to make my first Genoa and soppressata di Calabria…
    I’m planning to use “taste of Italy” culture for both. Does that mean I ferment both at 75F and 90% humidity (Listed on the Genoa recipe) rather than the numbers above?

    1. Eric

      Hey Devon,
      That is exactly correct.

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