Salami is quite the versatile meat: it's delicious as part of an appetizer spread alongside bread and cheese, tossed in a chopped salad, layered atop pizza, or crisped up into salami chips. But with so many varieties, it's easy to get confused by the salami section in your market or the list of options at a restaurant. We've got you covered.
All salami is made from a combination of uncooked ground meat, spices, wine, and garlic, which is then dried and cured. It develops a fine, white mold on the outside during the curing process, much like the coating on brie cheese, which is usually edible. But beyond that, there is tons of variation in this tasty, salty delicacy. Here are some of the most common varieties, explained.
Different Types of Salami
- Genoa salami: Traditionally made with pork and veal and seasoned with garlic, red wine, and pepper.
- Soppressata: Usually made with pork, soppressata has a higher fat content and a more rustic appearance than most salami. Soppressata is typically pressed with a heavy weight while curing and cured until it loses 30 percent of its weight, intensifying its flavor.
- Pepperoni: Not a traditional Italian salami, pepperoni is an Italian-American invention. It's finely ground, lightly smoked, and spicy.
- Herbed or peppered salami: Traditional salami that has — surprise! — been rolled in cracked peppercorns or dried herbs.
- Nduja: A deliciously spreadable salami made of pork meat, pork fat, and spicy red peppers.
- Cotto salami: Salami that has been partially cooked or smoked before or after curing.