This is what Coppa serves up when you order their version of an Italian Grinder. (It's actually only half of what they serve, they split the sandwich onto two plates for us.)
(Have you been to Coppa? What's your favorite menu item?)
The menu describes this as, "Italian Grinder / Salami, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, pickled cherry peppers, oil and vinegar $13." They don't mention the quality of the cured meat that goes into the sandwich or the care they take in preparing every aspect of it.
The focaccia is tender and light. It contains the meat without weighing it down. It captures the condiments and holds them in place. You won't find yourself wearing this grinder.
Each of the sandwich components is freshly sliced as each Italian Grinder is prepped. Coppa's mesmerizing Berkel slicer produces waves of meltingly thin salumi, prosciutto, and mortadella.
Meat and cheese are softly piled on the waiting bread. (This is a popular menu item. This loaf would be divided into more than one sandwich.)
While waiting for the meat to join the party, the condiments have already begun slowly seeping into the fococcia.
And, as you can see, our cuisinier managed to cut our sandwich in half without crushing all that lovely filling.
Anyone can make a grinder, but it takes a place like Coppa to create one that has your mouth watering when you think about it the next day.
Ed loves his cured meat naked, on a plate, in lazy piles. But, he was quick to warm up to this well-balanced combo of fine salumi at our favorite South End comfort spot. I'm betting he'll want half of mine the next time I find it on the Coppa menu. (You know I'm going to order it again!)
Are you ready to begin enjoying the art of salumi outside of sandwiches? You can learn more about cured meats and the traditions behind them in these books.
And, when you shop Amazon from here, you keep BostonZest coming your way!
253 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118-2178 (map)
Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: © 2011 Penny Cherubino
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