Do you know that salami can be made with turkey, donkey, or even horse meat? Have you ever tried one of these before?

Salamis, which are commonly known to us, originated in Italy around the 18th century. They later became popular in countries such as Spain, France, Hungary, and Germany. Salami is a clever invention for preserving meat in an era when both meat and freezing technology was scarce.

In Italy, all cured meats are referred to as salumi, and what we commonly refer to as salami now belongs to the category of salumi, also known as Italian sausage. Its characteristic involves stuffing the meat mixture into casings and then air-drying and smoking it to create cured sausage.

Apart from using pork and beef, common salamis can also be made with venison, goose meat, horse meat, donkey meat, and turkey meat as fillings. Salamis from different regions have slightly different seasoning methods based on local tastes, with common ingredients including salt, garlic, pepper, paprika, and various herbs.

Generally, salami goes through three stages from production to being edible: curing, fermentation, and air-drying. Salamis of different flavours require varying temperatures and humidity levels during each stage, taking approximately 30 to 90 days to complete the air-drying process. Properly air-dried salamis can be stored for a long time.

The quality of it is largely determined by the quality of the ingredients and the production process. Common industrial scale production salamis often reduce the fat content to achieve a better texture.

With its numerous varieties and consumption methods, salami has evolved over time. It can be sliced and eaten directly, cooked or grilled, used in sandwiches like ham slices, and added in chunks to pasta or pizza, among other ways.

Italy, being the birthplace and origin of salami, has a wide range of distinctive types and flavours. In Italy, salamis are often named after their regions of origin.

Napoli Salami

Originating from the Campania region in southern Italy, it dates back to the 17th century. It is made with medium-ground minced pork, black pepper, and herbs. When matured, it has a deep red colour, firm texture, a hint of smoky and black pepper flavours, and a spicy taste. Locals often enjoy it to withstand the hot summers.

Napoli Salami

Genoa Salami

It is one of the traditional types of salami commonly found in Genoa and surrounding regions of Italy. It is primarily made with minced pork and occasionally with beef. It is seasoned with red wine, garlic, salt, and black peppercorns. After fermentation and drying, it is ready to be consumed. It lacks smoky flavours but has a smooth and soft texture, a slightly sour taste, and a strong flavour. It is the most common salami used in sandwiches.

Genoa Salami

Milano Salami

It is the most common in Italy. It features a fine texture made from pork or beef and is often seasoned with pepper. It has a vibrant red colour, evenly distributed fat, a soft and slightly sweet texture, and flavours of red wine and sea salt.

Milano Salami

Apart from Italy, salamis are also produced in Hungary and the United States. Hungarian smoked salami has a white fungal coating on the outer layer and offers a distinct smoky flavour with a moist and chewy texture. It is commonly consumed as a snack in Hungary. American salami, also known as pepperoni, originated in 1919 and developed based on the style of southern Italian salami. It is most commonly found in pizzas.

Pepperoni Pizza

Furthermore, Germany, France, Spain, and other countries also have different types of salamis with unique flavours resulting from different fillings and ageing times.