Salami vs Pepperoni


Salami and pepperoni can easily be confused for one another because of their similarities. But there are also differences that should be noted when comparing and contrasting salami vs pepperoni. Let’s take a look at each of those in detail.

Salami Vs Pepperoni: What’s the Difference Between Salami and Pepperoni? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!

There are many similarities and differences when comparing salami and pepperoni. We’ll go through each of those in detail below.

What is Pepperoni and How Is it Prepared?

Like other cured salami, pepperoni is raw food that’s generally okay to eat before it’s cooked because it’s been cured and any dangerous microbes have been killed during the curing process.

What is Salami and How Is it Prepared?

Salami is a family of dry seasoned sausages. Salami matures in its skin from a long, curing process. Because of this process, salami is safe to eat, despite its not being cooked.

salami with white coating
salami with white coating

Salami can be used for a variety of purposes and in various dishes, which we’ve listed below.

Which Is Better – Pepperoni or Salami?

Whether pepperoni or salami are better depends on what aspect is being considered. Are you considering texture, flavor, fat, calories, usage, or something else?

Where we prefer the flavor of pepperoni, you might prefer the flavor of salami or vice versa.

While pepperoni tends to be higher in calories and fat, salami is richer in proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Do Salami and Pepperoni Have Similar Tastes?

Salami is described as having a spicy flavor, but pepperoni has a peppery or smoky flavor.

The similarity of flavor comes into play in that they both taste like fermented or processed meat which are enhanced with seasonings.

What is the Difference Between Chicken Ham and Salami?

The appearance, flavor, and ingredients are the two main differing factors between chicken ham and salami.

salami sausage
salami sausage

Chicken ham is made from unprocessed meats, while salami is made from processed meats. Chicken ham is a type of meat, while salami is a sausage. And chicken ham as more fat than salami.

Chicken ham is generally a light pink color, but salami is usually a darker red color.

A Glimpse to Pepperoni History

Pepperoni was thought to be invented in the early 1900’s in New York. Though some wonder if it came from Italy, the reality is pepperoni is an American favorite for pizza topping.

large pepperoni
large pepperoni

It also was known to appear in Italian delis and pizza places in Manhattan. And now, its use is widely spread across the country.

Taste & Texture

While the flavor of salami vs pepperoni varies between the two, the texture does as well. Pepperoni has a harder texture and is generally firmer than salami.

Pepperoni has more of a spicy, smoky, peppery flavor, while we’d describe salami as having a herbal flavor with a bit of spice.

Ways to Eat

There are a variety of ways to eat salami and pepperoni. Here are some ideas.

Homemade pizza
Homemade pizza

Pepperoni. There are many ways to eat pepperoni. It can be eaten as follows:

Pizza topping

Cheese boards

Stuff inside mushrooms

Layer in quesadillas

Chop in pasta salad

Chop in lettuce salad

Top potato skins

String on antipasti skewers

Add inside grilled cheese

On bagels

…and more

Salami and cheese
Salami and cheese

Salami. There are many ways to eat salami. It can be eaten as follows:



Cheese boards

Pan-fried salami

Inside frittata

Chopped in antipasto salad

…and more

Finally, Salami or Pepperoni – What’s Best?

Whether salami or pepperoni is the best is a matter of personal preference. Do you like yours extra spicy? If so, you might prefer pepperoni. If you prefer a milder flavor that’s more herbal in taste, perhaps salami will taste best.

Salami Explained

What is Salami? Salami is a cured sausage traditionally made of fermented pork, although now it can be made from trimmings of most any kind of meat. It’s typically hung to air dry after it’s been processed.

Pepperoni Explained

What is pepperoni? Pepperoni is an American version of spicy salami made from cured beef and pork that’s seasoned with paprika and peppers, then hung to dry.

It comes as a ready to eat meat that’s a hard, dried sausage and is one of America’s favorite pizza toppings.  It can be purchased as a molded tube, sliced, or as links.

pepperoni sticks
pepperoni sticks

Where Does Chorizo Fit In?

Chorizo is a kind of sausage that originated in Spain. It contains three main ingredients of pork, smoked paprika and garlic.

The pork is coarsely chopped and mixed with seasonings. The mixture is then loaded into casings and the chorizos are left to cure and dry.

Which Is Better on Pizza?

Which is better on pizza is a matter of personal preference. And if you’re not sure which one you’ll like better, give them both a try and then decide which is your favorite.

Traditionally speaking, pepperoni has been used more popularly as a pizza topping, but salami makes a milder substitute.

pepperoni pizza
pepperoni pizza

Similarities Between Pepperoni and Salami

Following are the key similarities between salami and pepperoni.

Both pepperoni and salami are molded into a tube shape roll.

Another similarity is that both are made from various kinds of meat trimmings, and both have added seasonings, albeit different seasonings are used for each one.

Both kinds of meat can be used as a pizza topping.

Both are a type of sausage that come from Italy.

The price of salami and pepperoni is also similar and they’re both affordable.


The Differences Between Salami and Pepperoni

Following are the key differences between pepperoni and salami.

Pepperoni is a type of salami, but salami is not a type of pepperoni.

Salami is generally served cold and is used in salads or sandwiches, while pepperoni is typically used as a pizza topping and is served hot.

Salami has an herbal flavor, while pepperoni usually has a peppery and smoky taste, so ingredients are also a basic difference.

Salami can be larger in size, while pepperoni is generally smaller in size.

Salami is traditionally made from pork, beef, veal, and in some cases poultry, while pepperoni is made from beef and pork trimmings. In some cases, turkey is used for pepperoni, but will be labeled as such.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to how to salami vs pepperoni. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Which is better pepperoni or salami?

Whether pepperoni or salami is better depends on a matter of personal preference. If you’re not sure which one you like better, give them both a fair chance and try them out to see which one you like better.

Is salami basically pepperoni?

While pepperoni is a type of salami, salami isn’t a type of pepperoni. The difference is that pepperoni has more of a peppery flavor while salami has more of an herbal flavor.

And salami is a kind of cured meat, but pepperoni is made by mixing cured pork and cured beef together.

Can you use salami on pizza instead of pepperoni?

Can you substitute salami for pepperoni on pizza? Technically yes, you can use salami on pizza as a good substitute for pepperoni.

You might notice, however, that the flavor is not quite as bold as what you might enjoy from pepperoni, but you can season the salami to give it a boost of flavor if preferred.

What are the white bits in salami?

The white bits in salami are a part of the fermentation process and are a penicillin-based mold that’s similar to the white mold you’ll find on fine cheeses.

Where does the name ‘salami’ come from?

It refers to the plural word for cured meats of Italian and European style. It gets its name from the Latin word for salt, which later became sal.

The preserved sausage is an important aspect of storing meat and prolonging its shelf life.

Can salami be halal?

Yes, beef is usual in halal and also in kosher salami. Those varieties never include pork for religious reasons.

Why is salami called pepperoni?

The sausage name is thought to be a corruption of the Italian pepperoncino, which are the little peppers that are used to give spice and color to the salami.

Related Ideas:

Grinder Salad with Salami
Grinder Sandwich with Salami
Red Baron French Bread Pizza Copycat
Smoked Pizza with Pepperoni

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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