Where Does Salami Come From?

What is Salami?

Before you know what salami is, let’s first answer this question: Where does salami come from? It originated in Italy during the Roman era. So you want to learn more about salami? 

Salami, in a nutshell, is everything. It’s a catch-all word for any type of enclosed meat. Salami comes from the Latin term salumen, which refers to a mixture of salted meats rather than a specific sort of meat. 


What is Salami Made of?

So, what is salami made of? Is salami pork? Pork is the flavor of the day! It all starts with minced pork meat with a small amount of high-quality pork fat. 

When sliced, this delicate white fat should merge with the salami and attach to it like glue. Some of you prefer to separate fat from meat, but in this case, the interior of the compacted meat should be scarlet with polka dots. If you’re a Mortadella enthusiast, you’ve probably seen these “polka dots.”

Garlic, mace, salt, fennel, garlic, mace, black pepper, and even wine and cinnamon make good seasonings.

You combine all ingredients, form the salami into a sausage, enclose it, and age it in dark, cool cellars. Preservatives in specific amounts are permissible, depending on current food legislation, and salami can be dyed if desired.

Salami vs. Pepperoni- The Difference

You’re probably familiar with salami and pepperoni if you like pizza and sandwiches. Pepperoni and salami are both types of sausage, and while they are interchangeable, they each have their place in the kitchen. Both lend a deep, spicy taste to the food you add them to, and they’re also delicious on their own.

So, what is the difference between salami and pepperoni, considering how similar they appear? The most significant distinction between salami and pepperoni is that Salami is a cured sausage made from fermented and air-dried meat. In contrast, pepperoni is an American version of salami made from cured pork and beef combined. 

The flavor is also distinct in that salami is spiced while pepperoni is peppery. There’s a little more to it, so read on for everything you need to know about salami and pepperoni to comprehend the two sausages better and improve your culinary expertise!

The difference between salami and pepperoni starts with how they’re prepared and extends to the various ingredients utilized in each sausage and how they are presented.

Many people know that both salami and pepperoni are good on pizzas and subs. However, salami is generally served cold as antipasti, whereas pepperoni, the more American of the two, is a popular pizza topping.

Since there are many different types of salami, pepperoni can be considered a type of salami. Even though there is a taste difference, if you like salami, you’ll probably like pepperoni as well. Both are seasoned and prepared with pork, but those who know their sausages will notice a significant variation in flavor.

Salami Explained

Italian peasants invented salami when they discovered a way to ferment the meat, letting it last for a year if they did not have access to meat for an extended length of time.

Salami, which has its origins in Italy, has evolved to be a massive component of Italian cuisine and is now used as a topping on pizzas and other dishes worldwide.

Pork, veal, chopped beef, and occasionally chicken are the key ingredients for salami. This beef is blended with other ingredients to shape and create salami’s distinct flavor profile.

One thing to keep in mind about salami is that it contains a lot of fat. While it is a popular choice for lunch meat, salami is a calorie-dense food, with one slice containing around 75 calories. Compared to sliced meat like turkey, one piece of salami is an entire portion, demonstrating the fat content.

There are various types of salami, each with its distinct flavors and peculiarities.

Pepperoni Explained

Salami is a form of pepperoni. It’s a type of dry salami. The key difference between it and other salamis is that pepperoni is created with a higher spice ratio, giving it a richer flavor that’s perfect for pizza.

While pepperoni comes from salami, it is an American sausage very popular in the United States.

Pepperoni is prepared from pork, poultry or beef, and has the same nutritional value as salami. Paprika and chili pepper are two common spices used in pepperoni. While it is drier than salami, it is slightly softer, has a smoky scent and flavor, and is bright red.

There’s nothing like a pepperoni pizza, and there’s nothing that can replace the high-spice, smoky flavor that pepperoni provides!

Italian Salami Types

Now that you’ve learned what salami is, it’s time to learn about some of the most popular and well-liked salami types:

Genoa Salami

Genoa salami is one of the types of salami from the Genoa region in Italy. It’s a garlic-heavy, medium-grained salami with a smooth, rich flavor and a clean finish. The simplicity of this salami is part of what makes it so popular. It’s ideal for adding to charcuterie boards or incorporating into regular meals.

The ingredients include pork, sea salt, sugar, spices, natural flavoring, garlic, and starter culture.

Felino Salami

Felino salami, often regarded as “the king of salami,” is named after a tiny village in Italy called… Felino! This salami is known for its silky texture and brilliant flavor, peppered and wine-infused. This delicate salami is lightly seasoned and slow-aged to bring out a sweet taste.

The coarse ground lean pork and fat chunks sprinkled throughout the salami give it a vivid scarlet appearance when you cut into it. When serving, we advise cutting each slice on the bias, about 1/8-inch (3.18-mm) thick, to ensure the proper combination of zingy peppercorn and silky fat.

Cane sugar, pork, sea salt, spices, natural flavorings, garlic, chianti red wine, starter culture are the needed Ingredients.


Sopressata is an Italian delicacy that has become popular in the United States. It is a basic salami that has two flavors: mild and spicy. The mild version uses cracked black peppercorns, while the spicy version uses crushed Calabrian red pepper flakes. The pork is ground with specific spices based on regional customs, then encased and hung to dry. 

The ultimate result is a silky smooth texture with a powerfully strong flavor. Ingredients include pork, sea salt, sugar, spices, natural flavoring, garlic, starter culture.


Chorizo is smoked paprika, fresh garlic, herbs, and spices-rich dried Spanish salami. It’s vital to understand that chorizo comes in two varieties: Mexican and Spanish. Ground pork is what makes the Mexican chorizo that you can buy raw. Spanish chorizo’s key ingredients are ground pork and seasonings, but instead of being served uncooked, it gets cured. 

Spanish chorizo is the only chorizo categorized as a type of salami (after this process). It is a terrific option if you’re looking for something with a little more kick than pepperoni. It’s a spice lover’s dream with a robust flavor and a deep smokey undertone.

The ingredients are pork, sea salt, sugar, paprika, spices, natural flavorings, garlic, and starter culture.

Peppered Salami

Peppered salami is a finely ground salami with a black pepper encasing for a robust, peppery taste. The pepper gives the salami a fiery flavor, and it’s best served sliced on a charcuterie board or in an Italian sandwich. They can go well with your favorite cheeses and Chianti wine for a great supper.

The ingredients are pork, sea salt, sugar, spices, natural flavoring, starter culture.

peppered salami

Finocchiona Salami

It is a Tuscany-based type that dates back hundreds of years. According to history, pepper, a key ingredient in salami, was too expensive, so the people substituted fennel, a spice that grew freely in the area. 

The Italian word for fennel is finocchio, and finocchiona salami contains a rich spice blend that includes toasted fennel seeds to create a fragrant and delectable product. The ingredients are pork fat, sea salt, fennel, sugar, pepper, natural flavoring, garlic, starter culture.

finocchiona salami

Is Salami Cooked?

It is debatable. When you walk into a butcher store, you’ll see dry-cured salami hanging on hooks, and it requires no preparation before eating. Salami has a long shelf life because of the preservatives, antioxidants, and low water activity.

It can keep its flavor for a long time if kept in good conditions and stored in dark and cool places. However, it will ultimately decay and lose its taste because of rancidity, but adding coriander as a spice is thought to help delay rancidity for a more extended period.

Salame Cotto (usually found in the Piedmont region of Italy) is a salami that is typically cooked or smoked before or after curing. The cooking isn’t advantageous because it’s not done for specific nutrients but rather for taste, as is the case with making salami meat. As a result, all of the flavors are distinct.

A Home-made Salami Recipe

Below is a salami recipe you can try at home:


Time: 3 Months

Serving size: 2 Servings

Preparation time: 2-3 Days

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Nutritional Facts Per Serving

  • 20% Sodium 474mg (0.001lb)
  • 3% Potassium 98mg (0.0002lb)
  • 0% Total carbohydrates 0.2g (0.0004lb)
  • Sugars 0.1g (0.0002lb) 
  • Protein 5.7g (0.013lb)
  • Fat 8.6g (0.02lb)
  • 16% Saturated fat 3.1g (0.007lb)
  • Trans fat 0.1g (0.0002lb)
  • 10% Cholesterol 29mg (0.0001lb)

Equipment Needed

  • 3mm (0.12-inch) plate
  • Fibrous casings
  • 5mm (0.12-inch) plate


  • 2.5g (0.002lb) Cure
  • 2.0g (0.004lb) Dextrose
  • 3.0g (0.007lb) Sugar
  • 3.0g (0.007lb) White pepper
  • 1.0g (0.002lb) Garlic powder (or 3.5g (0.008 lb) fresh garlic)
  • 0.12g (0.0003lb) T-SPX starter culture
  • 500g (1.1lb) Lean pork butt trimmings
  • 300g (0.66lb) Beef chuck
  • 200g (0.44lb) Pork back fat (or fat trimmings)
  • 28g (0.062lb) Kosher salt 


  1. Grind pork and back fat through a 3/16-inch plate (5mm). Using an 18-inch (3mm) plate, grind the beef.
  2. Combine all ingredients with the ground meat.
  3. Fill 80mm (3.15 inches) of protein-lined fibrous casings to the brim. Make links that are 25 inches (635 mm) long.
  4. Ferment for 72 hours at 20ºC (68ºF) and 90-85 percent humidity.
  5. For 2-3 months, dry at 16-12ºC (60-54 ºF) and 85-80 percent humidity. Dry the sausage until approximately 35% of its weight is gone.
  6. Store the sausages at 10-15°C (50-59 ºF), and humidity of 75 percent.

Salami Serving Ideas

When ordering antipasto at Italian restaurants, you can get a dish of the most exemplary Italian salami types. Salami, such as Strolghino, which is manufactured only in Parma, has no preservatives and has a shelf life of fewer than two months. 

It is eaten similarly to prosciutto, with a thin slice. Hard or dry-aged salami is served as an appetizer and pairs nicely with hard cheeses such as pecorino. When we want a great, quick sandwich, we turn to salami.

While you might want to add pepperoni pizza to this list, keep in mind that pepperoni is mainly American and is a salami combined with beef and pork. It’s similar to the salamis prepared in Naples (Salsiccia Napoletana Piccante), yet it’s an entirely distinct animal.

Not to get anything away from pepperoni pizza, but if you want a flavor of Italy, look no further. The best thing about salami is that you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to enjoy it; instead, it makes one. It simply screams picnic.


You shouldn’t be making more inquiries about salami with the above discussion. So prepare yours at home and bring your basket of salami, cheese, olives, and wine and spend a delightful morning with your friends or simply on your own!