Salami 101: What is Salami, and Which is Right for You?

February 18, 2022 | By Hunter Steffek

Salami is an amazingly versatile deli meat that any food lover should be acquainted with already, or after this guide will start loving it. Its origin is widely credited to Italy during the time of Ancient Rome where recipes date back to 1st-century A.D. However, an official document that can reliably be traced is from 1436 when an Italian mercenary ordered “Twenty pigs to make salami.”

Salami is most commonly made from pork, but also from beef, horse, and more. This meat is cured, which means that it is dried and preserved generally with preservatives and salts, but there can be uncured versions that follow the same process but utilizes natural curing agents and salt. Many people often confuse salami with salumi. Salumi refers to the craft of creating salted cured meats, so salami finds itself within this Italian cured meat family.

Traditionally, salami will boast a rich fatty flavor, coupled with a salty pork taste. Most variations will be similar in that description, but depending on the spices, herbs, meats, and fats used, the salami could be much different than the previous one. When choosing from the guide below make sure to pay close attention to the spices and herbs listed to give you a better feel for what flavor to expect.

Italian Style Salami


Soppressata is an Italian dry salami typically. It can be found in cured and uncured variations, as well as the way they spice it to highlight its leaner pork that is used. Soppressata has an oblong unique shape compared to a cylindrical shape typically seen in salami and this is due to it being pressed after the stuffing phase. At TerraMar Imports, we have many authentic soppressata salami options that come in all varieties for you to try.

Hot Soppressata Salami

Hot Soppressata (Uncured)

The Hot Soppressata by The Salumeria. This flavorful salami brings heat with every bite. This uncured soppressata maintains the bold flavor that a traditional Italian salami has, while bringing in a kick of spice. This salami would pair well with any of our cheese options, but how about pairing it with the Manchego DOP? This sheep cheese will really balance off the heat with its well-rounded flavor. Our Salumeria’s selection is very complete, you can check out the whole collection here

Ingredients: Pork, red wine, sea salt, spices, Swiss chard powder, dextrose, cherry powder, lactic acid starter culture. Stuffed in a beef casing.

Sweet Soppressata (Cured)

The Sweet Soppressata Salami by Gastros Craft Meats is a delectable, cured meat. This classic Italian salami is made with red wine to bring out a fruity sweet that pairs amazingly with the saltiness of the pork. Bringing this out at any dinner party with a tray of crackers and cheese is an excellent way to impress your guests. You can find their other selection of Soppressata here: Gastro Craft Meats

Ingredients: Pork, red wine, sea salt, spices, Swiss chard powder, dextrose, cherry powder, lactic acid starter culture. Stuffed in a beef casing.

Sweet Soppressata Salami

A (not so) Standard Salami

The Finocchiona by The Salumeria will remind you of a family dinner with its hearty flavor. In every bite, you will get a hint of garlic and cracked fennel that compliment the salted pork. This would be an ideal way to branch out and try a gourmet salami if you never have. Finocchiona is characterized by its use of fennel as an alternative to pepper. This change happened because pepper was very expensive during the early Renaissance/Later Middle ages, so the Tuscan natives utilized wild fennel that grew in abundance all over the countryside.

Ingredients: Pork, red wine, sea salt, spices, Swiss chard powder, dextrose, garlic powder, cherry powder, lactic acid starter culture. Stuffed in a beef casing.

Salami on Charcuterie Board

For your Special Occasions

The Tartufo by The Salumeria is an excellent choice for any special evening. This is a black summer truffle infused salami that adds a decadent buttery profile to the salty bold flavor of the uncured pork. Great for slicing and plating in any way, this should be perfect for any party, get together, or date night.

Ingredients: Pork, red wine, sea salt, Swiss chard powder, spices, truffle zest seasoning, dextrose, cherry powder, lactic acid starter culture. Stuffed in a beef casing.

Truffle Salami on Charcuterie Board

Other Dried Meats

We also carry a variety of Spanish inspired Salami. The Smoked Chorizo by ‘The Salumeria’ is a traditional Spanish style salami. Chorizo in the US is typically seen in the Mexican style where the ground pork is sold fresh and uncooked, but in Spain this meat mixed with spices will undergo a curing process.

TerraMar carries a great variety of traditional Spanish style chorizo. Not all of these will be classified as Salami, but many can be utilized in this same way. Try the traditional Spanish Chorizo Leon or the pork and beef chorizo called Chorizo Cantimpalo.

Authentic Salami Bundles and More

If you cannot decide on which succulent salami looks best. TerraMar offers a Flavored Salami Bundle. This bundle has 24 ounces of traditional-gourmet Italian salami. Inside there will be: Tartufo Black Summer Truffle Salami, Felina Red Wine and Garlic Salami, Calabrese White Wine & Mild Peppers Salami, and Pistachio Spicy Salami. On top of this you will receive 3 gourmet cheeses to pair with the delicious meat.

We hope this guide provided a background on Salami, and the many things to consider when choosing what salami is right for you. There are many more options within our store, so check out the rest and try them all!

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