Salami vs. Pepperoni: What’s the Difference?

Salami vs. Pepperoni

Salami and pepperoni are popular types of meats used in various sandwiches and dishes. They are both technically made from pork, but the similarities end there. They are both prepared differently and used for different purposes. What is salami, what is pepperoni, and what are the differences between them? This is your guide to salami vs. pepperoni.


Salami is a type of cured sausage. It originates in Italian cuisine and has many varieties. It is mainly used in sandwiches.


Salami is prepared by mixing pork meat with fat, spices, seasonings, and preservatives. It is stuffed into a casing, then dry cured until it reaches a specific degree of hardness. Salami is generally harder and drier than other types of sausage.

The sausage has been a part of Mediterranean cuisine for more than 2,000 years, dating back to classical Greek and Roman society. Curing meat was the primary means of preserving it before the invention of refrigeration, and the tradition has continued in the preparation of salami.

There are many types of salami available. Pork meat is used most of the time, but some varieties use beef, poultry, venison, and others. In addition, there are ethnic variations in cuisines around the world.

Types of salami include:

  • Genoa salami: an Italian salami made of pork, salt, garlic, pepper, fennel seeds, and wine
  • Finocchiona salami: a spicy Tuscan salami seasoned with fennel seeds and black pepper
  • Milanese salami: a sweet Italian salami made with pork, beef, and small grains of pork fat
  • Salami cotto: an Italian salami that is cooked either before or after curing and seasoned with garlic and peppercorns
  • Soppressata: an Italian salami made of cured and pressed pork, garlic, peppers, fennel, oregano, and basil
  • French salami: a thick sausage made of pork and sometimes combined with dried fruits, wine, or cheese
  • German salami: a fatty salami made with pork, beef, garlic, and spices
  • Hungarian salami: a fatty salami made with pork meat and fatty pork bellies
  • Spanish salami: a spicy salami made with finely ground pork, beef, and peppercorns


Another variety of salami is pepperoni. This is the main difference between salami and pepperoni – salami is a type of cured meat and comprises a group of related sausages, while pepperoni is just one type of salami in this group.


Pepperoni is made by mixing cured pork and beef together. It is seasoned with peppers and spices, which may include paprika and chili peppers. It is often softer than other types of salami, with a smoky flavor and bright red color.

It is used primarily on pizzas, but may also be added to sandwiches.


Salami and pepperoni have similar Italian origins and preparation methods, but they differ in their modern-day uses. While salami comes in a variety of flavors and ethnic variations, pepperoni has a pretty standard formula. Salami is known as a lunch meat, while pepperoni is mostly used to top pizzas and calzones.

The next time you’re at the deli and you find yourself faced with salami and pepperoni, use this information to help you make smart purchases. Know the different varieties of salami so you can choose the best one for your family. This will help you to prepare sandwiches, pizzas, and other dishes that will satisfy everyone’s tastes.

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