Difference Between Salami vs Pepperoni

Difference Between Salami vs Pepperoni

If you are an avid foodie, then you probably have been wondering what the difference between pepperoni and salami is for quite some time. If that is the case, you are in luck because today’s post is all about helping you to separate the two once and for all.

Although they appear similar, if you have ever eaten each of these Italian sausage varieties, then it will become quite apparent that there is a definite flavor difference. The reason for this is the way in which both of these food options are prepared and the exact ingredients that go into making them.

Read on for a breakdown of the definition of each of these sausage varieties in conjunction with a quick reference table.

Definition of Salami

The definition of salami is a calorie-dense Italian cured sausage that is known for its high fat content.

When looking at the difference between salami and pepperoni, we are essentially comparing the same item albeit with a slightly different method of preparation that ultimately yields the contrasting elements of these two sausage types.

This different method of preparation mainly relates to the inclusion of extra spices when creating pepperoni. Aside from that, both sausage types are virtually identical though there can be several non-exclusive differences depending on the meat type being used.

In its base form, salami is a type of cured sausage originating in Italy that can be made using poultry, beef, pork, or veal. This meat can then be preserved and consumed for a period of up to 12 months safely, and it was for this longevity that it was originally deemed desirable as a main food source for peasants.

Where the constitution of salami sets itself apart from pepperoni other than the inclusion of additional spices with the latter is occasionally in the form of a higher fat content with salami depending on the variety. It can contain between roughly 70–80 calories per slice based on the meat being used in the salami.

You can certainly taste the difference although it may be quite subtle to some and vary with the particular brand.

Definition of Pepperoni

The definition of pepperoni is a variation of salami that is prepared with the addition of more spices compared to the base recipe.

The pepperoni vs salami debate really comes down to spice content for the most part as you are now aware after reading through the definition of the latter sausage type. You will always be able to discern distinct flavor differences, and this is where the separation largely comes into play.

Pepperoni is in fact salami, but it comes with the inclusion of more spices compared to the latter. Pepperoni can on occasion have less fat too. This reduced fat is not the norm though, and you will often find that the added spice alone is the only difference with other nutritional values being identical.

This added spice is referenced in the name pepperoni due to the inclusion of the word pepper, which itself is included to provide an added kick or “spice” to food.

Main Differences Between Salami vs Pepperoni

We can identify the key variations between salami vs pepperoni as follows.

Basis of ComparisonSalamiPepperoni
What is it?A type of cured sausageA variation of salami
Spice contentMinimalModerate to high depending on variety
Calorie content70–80 calories per sliceThe same as salami
Fat contentTypically very highUsually the same as salami but can be lower

Difference Between Salami and Pepperoni: Conclusion

In summary, it is clear to see that what really sets these two sausage types apart is the inclusion of additional spices with pepperoni compared to the base salami formula. When we summarize them just by referencing this spice element alone, we do not really need much if any other information at all to set them apart.  

We hope that the differences between these two popular food types are finally clear to you, but should you get confused in the future, simply come back to our quick reference table for a refresh at any time.