TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What Is Salami?

There’s actually a strong connection between salami and a favorite pizza topping—pepperoni.

What is salami?

 

Salami, or Salame in Italian, is a combination of salted meats, instead of a particular type of meat. And because salami is so broad, it can be prepared in many different ways, despite each type going more or less go through the same processing phases. The difference is mainly in terms of spice mix, but also the ground meat which can vary in consistency from salami to salami.

 

It is a type of cured sausage consisting of fermented and air-dried meat, typically beef or pork. Genoa salami is traditionally made of pork and veal meat, and typically seasoned with garlic, pepper, and red wine.

 

Interestingly, pepperoni is a fine-grained, smokey, air-dried salami. That is somewhat of a redundant description considering salami is dried sausage, but the air drying is an essential part of getting the texture of pepperoni. Air drying is the process of adding salt and nitrate to a meat, storing in the fridge, then drying in the air.