Where Does Salami Come From? Fascinating Meat Food Facts To Know About

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 12, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Salami with fresh rosemary and spices.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

When you think about it, salami is just air-dried fermented meat, but salami is more unique than you might think.

September 7, every year is celebrated as national Salami Day in the United States. For the past three years, people have celebrated this day by eating salami and posting hashtags on Twitter.

Smoked salamis differ in the variety of ingredients that are added to the meat, like wine, pepper, and garlic. The way the meat is prepared also makes a considerable difference.

While some people like their salami to be as plain as possible, some like it with a blend of spices to make the flavor taste seasoned and more complex. Smoked salami is usually made with pork, but some salami can be made with pork and beef.

Salami first became popular in Europe during depression periods, when fresh meat was not readily available due to food scarcity. Salami, a dried meat of pork and beef, can be stored for up to 30 days at room temperature.

Once you learn all about how aged salami is made in this article, check out our next article on where does pizza come from? And where does pastrami come from?

Where does the word salami come from?

Did you know that salami is the plural form for the Italian word ‘salame’? Salami or salame is such a loved delicacy around the world that it even has a day named after it in the United States. You might wonder where the word salami came from.

These widely loved, dried sausage meats, first came from Italy, which is where it got its name from. In Italian, it was known as ‘salare’, which means ‘to make something salty’, this was originally derived from the Latin word ‘sale’, which means ‘salt’.

The Turkish, Bulgarians, and Romanians call salami 'salam' and in Hungary, it is known as ‘szalami’, whereas it is known as 'salazm' in Czech.

Original Italian salami was made by mixing pork and salt, and then placing it in a casing for it to air dry allowing it to ferment.

Many European countries have had salami-making traditions for centuries. Salami is mainly produced by France, Hungary, Germany, and Italy, and salami today is consumed across the world.

What are the different types of salamis?

There are a variety of salamis in the world, so much, that it is impossible to count the number of ways how salami is made. Italy alone claims to have originated about 150 different types of salami. The most popular types of salted salamis around the world are as follows.

Genoa Salami: This Italian salami comes from the Genoa region of Italy and is indisputably one of the most popular salamis around the world. It has a rich flavor, with plenty of smoothness that comes from its medium grind.

It is very garlic heavy, is quite simple in nature, and has an exceptionally clean finish. These delicious and simple characteristics, are the reason behind its popularity.

The main ingredients used in making this Italian delicacy are pork meat, salt, garlic, spices, a little bit of sugar, and starter culture. This salami pairs excellently with sparkling prosecco, fontina cheese, and roasted peppers.

Felino Salami: This famous and mouth-watering Italian salami is famously known as 'the kind of salami'. It first originated in a small Italian town known as Felino.

It has an amazing flavor that comes from the abundance of peppercorns and wine that are added to it. It has a very smooth consistency, a sweet flavor, is minimally seasoned and has been aged very slowly.

Its bright red color and sprinkled pork fat pieces would make anyone go, mama mia!

The main trick while serving this salami lies in the thickness of the slices, to perfectly ensure that each slice contains equal amounts of peppercorn and smooth fat. This type of dry-cured salami, pairs very well with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, red wine, and crusty country bread.

Peppered Salami: This type of salami is a mix of finely ground meat fat. This smooth Italian salami is encased in black pepper, which gives it a spicier flavor. This peppered ground meat salami pairs well with any Italian sandwich, cheese, and wine.

Cacciatore Salami: This cacciatore salami became an Italian hunter’s favorite snack. It was hearty and more filling, since this salamai is made from pork fat, which is why it was known as the 'hunter-style salami'.

It has a very simple taste, with a meatier flavor and a minimal mixture of spices, such as ground garlic and black pepper.

This seasoned meat can be made with very simple ingredients like cured pork, salt, sugar, garlic, and starter culture. This simple yet delicious salami pairs well with cheese, bread, and cold ale.

Pepperoni: Pepperoni is a type of dry-cured salami, it is the most popular type of salami in the United States of America. Although it has an Italian origin, it is widely eaten in the USA as a pizza topping.

A 2017 report, showed that about 35% of pizzas ordered in the USA have a pepperoni topping. It is widely famous because of the mixture of smokey and sweet flavors. It pairs well with pizza, green salad, and craft IPA.

Salami sausage slices on a black chopping Board.

Is salami healthy to eat?

When it comes to taste, salami aces everyone’s checklist, but what about health? Although we’re not implying that salami is absolutely bad for you, we’re just saying to watch the amount that you eat. Everything in moderation!

Salami has high amounts of protein, low carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins that are beneficial to our body. Salamis also contain a unique set of vitamins and nutrients due to the lactic acid culture used in fermenting the meat.

It serves as a major source of vitamin B, which is essential for our metabolism. It is also a good source of sodium, which is another essential nutrient needed by our body.

It contains good bacteria from fermentation, which helps in reducing nitrate concentrations in the body.

Now that we’ve talked about the positives of this air-dried meat delicacy and its potential benefits, we will now focus on somenegative and potentially harmful effects salami can have on our bodies.

Salami is a processed ground meat. As per recent data, it has been revealed that processed meats can be very harmful to our body and can also cause cancer in the long run. Salami is a highly processed, red meat, that can have numerous health deteriorating factors, which can potentially be harmful to you.

A study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2015, stated that ‘red meat can cause cancer,’ although the research was based on careful observation and evaluation, rather than any scientific proof.

The World Health Organization also stated that ‘the chemicals that are present in processed red meat are potentially deadly over time,’ these chemicals include both artificially added ones as well as the ones naturally occurring.

Although we mentioned above that sodium is essential for us, in excess it can be potentially harmful. This is especially true when considering salami due to its high sodium content.

You can potentially get salmonella from eating salami. Although the chances of getting a food-borne pathogen are not that high, in recent times the number of cases of salami contamination is rapidly increasing.

Is salami considered a processed meat?

We’ve established that processed meat is bad for our health and can be a cause of cancer. Processed meat such as bologna and dry-cured sausage, like salami, made up of dry pork and beef, are very famous in the United States.

Because salami is drier and more processed, it provides it with a longer shelf life compared to other salted meats.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where does salami come from?

Fascinating meat food facts to know about, then why not take a look at what is a group of turtles called? Why do turtles team up? Or swimpressive shark facts: what is a group of sharks called?

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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