Cuoppo napoletano, Neapolitan delight
Cuoppo napoletano is a humble dish from Naples, a masterpiece of street food, and a delicious taste of Italian tradition. A paper cone, the “cuoppo”, holds a mix of deep-fried foods, where the abundance of different delicacies mingle to produce a flavour sensation.
The traditional cuoppo napoletano includes potato croquettes, mini panzerotti (stuffed dough pockets), fried, and sometimes filled, courgette flowers, mozarella, zeppoline doughballs, and aubergine. Cuoppo can be only fish, all meat, or even sweet, as is the latest trend in the south of Italy.
Cuoppo represents Italian street food at its very best, to be enjoyed walking through the alleys of the city, passing grand palaces and balconies festooned with washing, or simply while waiting to order a pizza. In the 19th century it was already popular with the less well-off as a cheap, filling and plentiful meal: Matilde Serao describes it in 1884 in her book “Il Ventre di Napoli” as costing but a coin.
Cuoppo, also mentioned in the 1958 film “Totò a Parigi”, is the subject of many sayings and tonguetwisters. In Salerno it beats the competition of kebabs and burgers hands down: beginning with festivals dedicated to the specialty, seafood cuoppo napoletano has now taken over the streets.