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It’s a labor of love, steeped in tradition and a little bit of secrecy. The Soupie ™ is an Italian styled, dry cured meat with roots going back to a small village in Italy called Isca. When immigrants came to the United States from Italy seeking jobs in the coal mines, they brought recipes of cured goods that would have a long shelf life and be a portable snack in the mines. Today this dry cured meat is intertwined with the Pennsylvania coal region and its people.
The process of making a Soupie ™ starts with a combination of hams, tenderloins and pork butts, hand trimmed and then coarsely ground. Salt, paprika and a few other spices are added to the ground pork and allowed to sit for two days before the next step in the process occurs. All natural collagen casings are soaked in hot water to soften them up, then they’re filled with a hand crank stuffer until they reach the right size and shape. They’re tied off, and ready to be hung.
For eight to ten weeks the Soupie ™ hang in a temperature and humidity controlled room until they’re dried out just enough to be firm but not rock hard. When they’ve reached their peak consistency, they’re taken down and submerged in oil…where they’ll stay for at least four months. When they’re ready to be sold, each Soupie ™ is vacuum sealed with just a touch of oil in the packaging to keep everything fresh until you’re ready to eat it. Open the packaging, cut off the casing, slice a few pieces and enjoy.