Salumi vs Charcuterie: A Comparison


Perhaps you’ve gone to the grocery store deli counter and you’re uncertain of the difference between salumi vs charcuterie. Or you wonder if there are differences.

We’ll go through important details in our comparison of the two kinds of meat and point out similarities and differences as we go.

What’s Salumi?

The definition of salumi is any type of cured meat that uses any parts of the animal from head to toe. Salumi is an Italian word. These meats are generally found in the refrigerated section or deli aisle of the grocery store.

And there is more than just one type of salumi. There are several varieties.

Kinds of Salumi

Some of the various types of salumi include dry-cured pork salami, genoa salami, whole muscle salumi, Italian salumi, salami picante. These are used as Italian cold cuts or salumi platters, as well as other desired purposes.

salami vs pepperoni

The best salumi is a cured meat product that’s absolutely delicious. The world of salumi is vast and salumi boards have become quite popular similar to the charcuterie boards.

What’s Charcuterie?

Charcuterie is traditionally a French word. It can include types of salumi, but these are cooked meats that are often served cooled or at room temperature.

Kinds of Charcuterie

Although French charcuterie is defined as cookedmeat products, in the United States it tends to refer to any type of meat that’s served as a part of a charcuterie board.  It’s not necessarily defined as such.

This can include cooked meats such as prosciutto di parma, prosciutto cotto which is cooked, or prosciutto crudo that’s uncooked but cured. Prosciutto is usually prepared in paper-thin slices.

lunch meat

Although meats like jamón serrano and jamón ibérico are traditionally eaten raw, they might not follow the definition and are included as a part of charcuterie.

What are the Similarities?

There are similarities in salumi and charcuterie. The various ways the types of meat are used are similar. Salumi in Italy refers to charcuterie. In essence the terms are used interchangeably in this case.

What are the Differences?

The main difference between the two categories is that one is served cooked and the other is served raw, but cured.

salami rose

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Is charcuterie a salumi?

Charcuterie is the French word for cooked meat. In the United States, charcuterie is generally served on a platter or board along with other snack foods such as crackers, cheese, and a variety of other sweet and savory finger foods.

What do Italians call charcuterie?

Italians generally refer to charcuterie as salumi, salami, dry-cured meats. They use it somewhat as an umbrella term. In doing so, they refer to all of these meats such as prosciutto, pancetta, braesola, and cacciatore.

Is salumi same as salami?

Salumi refers to just the artisan craft meats that are made of pork. Traditionally, Italian salumi means using all portions of the pork – from head to tail, to make specialties such as pancetta and guanciale. Salami also falls under this category, along with prosciutto, sopressata, and coppa.  

Salami and cheese
Salami and cheese

What are the 3 kinds of charcuterie?

There are 3 main types of charcuterie. Those are known as forcemeats, sausages, and salumi.

Related Ideas:

Difference Between Ham and Pork

How Long is Cooked Ham Good For

How to Smoke a Ham

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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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