Where Does Pepperoni Come From? Your Delicious Pizza Topping Explained | Kidadl


Where Does Pepperoni Come From? Your Delicious Pizza Topping Explained

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Most commonly, pepperoni is a mixture of beef, turkey, and pork.

Pepperoni is a dried, cured sausage made from ground pork and beef or turkey. Making pepperoni requires the right amount of cuts.

In 1894, Italian markets began offering ‘spicy sausage’, which now serves as the great-great-grandfather of pepperoni. The dried spicy salami first showed up in Italian-American markets after World War I but did not make its debut as a cheese pizza topping until much later.

Cured with spices, salt, and lactic acid, pepperoni has a spicy, salty, and tangy flavor. It is bright red in color due to the high amount of paprika and chili powder used while making it. Even though Italians brought pizzas to America, the concept of pepperoni as one of the popular toppings is wholly owned by Americans. The versatility of pepperoni makes it stand out from other toppings. You can always find pepperoni on pizza. Every pizza advertisement on television, pamphlets, and even emojis comes with big red circles representing pepperoni. This topping has undoubtedly taken over America and is certainly a popular topping.

After reading all about pepperoni and the manufacturing process, you should also find out where does pastrami come from and where does pizza come from.

What animal does pepperoni come from?

Pepperoni sausage actually doesn’t come from tomatoes! Pepperoni is made from a blend of cow and pork meat. Sometimes even turkey meat is used to make pepperoni, which is an alternative to conventional pepperoni.

An animal that has been used to make pepperoni must be raised in the US. With the rise of veganism, substitutes like vegan pepperoni have been emerging, which serves as a healthier alternative. Meat alternatives such as roasted chicken and smoked salmon are also used due to the high amount of unhealthy fat found in pepperoni.

Where does pepperoni meat come from?

Pepperoni meat is a fine combination of ground pork and beef mixed with spices and flavorings.

Pepperoni meat comes from pork and beef trimmings. These are then combined and seasoned with spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and allspice. Sodium nitrate and salt are added as curing agents to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms. Sodium nitrate helps to prolong the shelf life of pepperoni and increase its flavor. The mixture is then sealed and refrigerated for a few days and then put into casings. After the meat has cured in casings, they’re tied off to form ropes of links. These links are refrigerated again to get them into shape. They are then hung to dry in smoke chambers which adds extra preservation and gets that smoky flavor. After the meat has dried, the links are packaged and shipped across the country, where pizzerias combine delicious pepperoni slices with cheese pizzas to make the popular pepperoni pizza. In the United States, pepperoni is usually made out of beef and pork or only pork. Iowa, North Carolina, and Minnesota are the US states producing the most pepperoni.

Slices of pepperoni on white background.

Where does the word pepperoni come from?

The history of pepperoni begins in Italy. The word 'pepperoni' originates from the Italian word ‘peperone’, which means 'bell pepper'. What Americans call pepperoni is called salami picante, which is a term for spicy salami in Italy. The first mention of pepperoni came from prints in 1919 when Italian butcher shops and pizzerias grew in New York City. It is basically an American variety of salami. Pepperoni is not well known or eaten in Italy as bell pepper is better known there.

The first evidence of pepperoni on pizza as a topping comes from a photo of a wall menu at a pizzeria named The Spot in New Haven, Connecticut. Pepperoni differs from traditional Italian salami in multiple ways. It possesses a finer grain than most Italian meat and is soft when compared to conventional salamis. The Italian-American creation was similar to the variant of salami made in the south of Italy. Pepperoni is produced using an artificial casing, unlike other meats. Pepperoni pizza is one of the most iconic pizzas in America.

What is traditional pepperoni made from?

There are two types of pepperoni known as Old World pepperoni, also known as traditional pepperoni, and American Style. Both of them have origins in America. Slices of Old World pepperoni curl up on the edges, whereas the edges of American style or New World stay flat. It is also known as ‘sausage pepperoni’.

At first glance, it may sound like Old World pepperoni is probably anything but delicious, but it’s not like that. Old World pepperoni is a higher quality pepperoni that has a bolder flavor and is made in less industrialized processing techniques. The curly edges of Old World pepperoni come from two things, the first being that it is served in thicker slices in comparison to American-style pepperoni. It means there is a bigger temperature difference between the bottom and top of the pepperoni slice. The top gets hot, starts contracting, and pulls the edges upward, creating that classic bowl shape. Secondly, there is a different type of casing used for Old World pepperoni as it uses sheep intestine in which the meat is stuffed, whereas American style pepperoni usually has a man-made casing, formed using collagen. The natural casing of Old World pepperoni reacts quickly in the oven causing the bowl shape.

Old World pepperoni has a flavor that is quite distinctive from the American style because of the way it is made. The reason behind this is the curing of the pepperoni, In the American way, the fermenting of the sausage is only done using lactic acid, whereas, with the Old World style, another bacteria called coagulase-negative cocci (CNC) is added to the mix. The CNC slows down the curing process and this gives Old World pepperoni more time to develop richer and complex flavors. It gives it a darker color which is dark red or maroon, whereas the American style has a touch of orange in it. Different casing affects the taste. The casing with Old World pepperoni develops a layer of mold as the sausage is cured. The American style tastes less spicy, whereas Old World pepperoni is known for its smoky flavor from all the chilis and paprika used in the making of this sausage. Old World pepperoni as a pizza topping is smaller compared to the American style.

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 pepperoni come from? Your delicious pizza topping explained then why not take a look at some impressive animals facts: what is a group of sharks called? or what is a group of turtles called? Why do turtles team up?

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?