If you happen to be a certified meat lover, then you would have an idea of what salami is. One of the most known types of cured sausage, salami is consists of air-dried and fermented meat. This is typically seen in charcuterie boards and other dishes.
However, to some individuals unfamiliar with this tasty deli meat, they would often confuse it with other types of cured meats. Some would even be curious to know and ask the question, is salami beef or pork? If you want to know the answer to that intriguing question, stick around to find out.
The term “salami” came from the Italian word “salame.” It came from the root word “sale” which means salt, and “ame” for termination. Therefore in Italy, it referred to all kinds of salted meat. Traditionally, Italy has several styles of cured meats; however, salami became one of the most famous.
The seasoned meat undergoes a fermentation process that allows beneficial organisms to grow and prevent the bad ones from growing. However, since salami is not exclusive in Italy, there are various ways of seasoning different types of salami.
However, the common ingredient used to season salamis is salt. Additional ingredients may also include garlic, white pepper, various spices and herbs, vinegar, and wine. After seasoning the meat, this is then fermented for a day and stuffed into an edible casing.
This is then hanged for curing naturally. There are other methods that involved applying additional heat to facilitate further fermentation and drying.
Is Salami Beek or Pork?
Originally, the very first salamis were made of pork meat. This is minced with some pork, salted, and extruded into a thin, elongated casing. The meat is then left to ferment naturally for days, months, or even years.
However, there is also salami that is made of beef. This is typically used for halal or kosher salami, which is for consumers that do not eat pork for religious purposes. In some cases, other salami makers also use different types of meat like venison, turkey, horse meat, goose meat, and donkey meat.
Types of Salami
Contrary to what made would think, salami is not just the typical Italian sausage. In fact, there are several types of salami that you can try out.
This literally translates to “hunter” and is referred to as hunter-style sausage mainly because of its more petite size compared to other types of salami. This is typically prepared with onions, tomatoes, herbs, bell peppers, and sometimes wine.
The meat used for the Cacciatore is often rabbit meat or braised chicken. It originated in the southern part of Italy in the province of Calabria.
2. Capocollo or Capicola
The Capocollo is a type of salami made of meat from the head and neck of a pig. It is also referred to as a whole-muscle salami and is normally sliced very thinly. The meat is usually smoked and prepared with spices, herbs, and sometimes wine. The finished product often presents a soft texture perfect sandwiches.
Coming from its name, this type of salami originated from Genoa. It is made of pork meat but could also contain veal. It is generally seasoned with salt, garlic, white peppercorns, black peppercorns, red and white wine.
This type of salami is not for the faint-hearted since it is made from the fatty back part of a pig. Cured with spices, herbs, and rosemary, it originated from Colonnata. Traditionally, it is cured in basins made of Carrara marble for months.
Hailing from Naples, the Napoletano is a type of salami made from pork meat that is spiced heavily with black and red pepper. It is normally seasoned with salt, garlic, and white wine.
Panchetta is a salami that is made from pork belly, which is cured with salt. It has two types which are the arrotolata or rolled and the stesa or flat. The arrotolata is normally cut into thin slices and is used for sandwiches. On the other hand, the stesa is chopped to serve as an ingredient to many dishes or cut into strips for grilling.
The Proscuitto is a dry-cured ham traditionally made from the leg or thigh part of a pig. The curing process of the Proscuitto would greatly depend on the size of the ham used. This could take nine months up until two years.
This is a dry type of salami that has several variations. One of the main variations are the cured dry salami which originated from Calabria, Basilicata, and Apulia. The other one is referred to as the uncured salami.
The Soppressata is usually made of leftover pig parts and sometimes includes pork belly, tongue, and stomach. Depending on which region the salami came from, the Soppressata is seasoned with various spices and herbs.