AskDefine | Define salami

Dictionary Definition

salami n : highly seasoned fatty sausage of pork and beef usually dried

User Contributed Dictionary

see Salami



Italian, plural of salame, salami. From salesalt”, from Latin sal.



  1. A highly seasoned type of large sausage of Italian origin, typically made from chopped pork or beef and often garlic, and served in slices.
  2. A grand slam

Derived terms


  • French: salami
  • German: Salami
  • Greek: σαλάμι
  • Italian: salame
  • Japanese: サラミ
  • Latvian: salami (1)
  • Polish: salami
  • Portuguese: salame

See also




  1. salami




  1. Plural of salame



  1. salami


  • salami

Extensive Definition

Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried. Salami may refer specifically to a class of salumi (the Italian tradition of cured meats), where an individual sausage or style of sausage (e.g. Genoa) would be referred to with the singular Italian form salame. Alternatively, in general English usage, salami may be singular or plural and refer to a generic style or to various specific regional styles from Italy or elsewhere, such as France, Germany, or Hungary. The name comes from the Latin/Italian root sal-, meaning 'salt'.
Historically, salami has been popular amongst Italian peasants because it can be stored at room temperature for periods of up to a year, supplementing a possibly meager or inconstant supply of fresh meat.
The english salami is a misspelled form of the Italian word Salame. Being also the Italian plural form, today the word "salami" may refer specifically to a class of salumi, where an individual sausage or style of sausage (e.g. salame di Felino) would be referred to with the singular form salame. In general English usage, salami may be singular or plural and refer to any kind of cured meat of vague Italian origin or to various specific regional styles from Italy or elsewhere, such as France or Germany. the word originates from the word Sale (=salt) with a termination -ame used in Italian as an indicator of collective nouns; the original meaning was thus all kind of salted (meats). The Italian tradition of cured meats including several styles, the word specialized soon to indicate only the most popular kind, made with ground salted and spiced meat forced into animal gut with an elongated and thin shape, then left to undergo some kind of fermentation process.

Ingredients of salami

A traditional salame (singular), with its typical marbled appearance, is made from one or more of the following meats:
Additional ingredients include:
The raw meat mixture is usually allowed to ferment for a day and then the mixture is either stuffed into an edible natural or non-edible artificial casing and hung to cure. The casings are often treated with an edible mold (Penicillium) culture as well. The mold is desired as it imparts flavor and prevents spoilage during the curing process. Most salami have the mold or the casing removed before being sold in international markets. Purists insist that the mold should be left intact.
More modern (but still traditional) mixtures include additional ingredients to assist in the fermentation process. These ingredients aim to take the guesswork out of traditional curing and can be found in many of the finest salami varieties in the world, although some producers eschew the nitrates and nitrites due to health concerns.

Varieties of salami

Varieties of salami include:
Many Old World salami are named after the region or country of their origin. Examples include Arles, Genoa, Hungarian and Milano salame. Many are flavored with garlic. Some types — including a few varieties from Spain, most Hungarian types (Pick salami), and southern Italian styles (such as pepperoni, derived from salsiccia Napoletana piccante) include paprika or chili powder. Varieties are also differentiated by the coarseness or fineness of the chopped meat as well as the size and style of the casing used.
In the United States, traditional salami are either imported or referred to as an "Italian Salame", the protected term for salami made in the United States.

Manufacturing process

Though uncooked, salami are not raw; they have been prepared via curing. The term salame cotto refers to salami cooked or smoked before or after curing. This is done to impart a specific flavor but not to cook the meat. Before curing, a cotto salame is still considered raw and is not ready to be eaten. Most kinds of salami made from donkey or ox are considered "cotto".
Salami are cured in warm, humid conditions in order to encourage growth of the bacteria involved in the fermentation process. Sugar is added as a food source for the bacteria during the curing process, although it tends not to be added to horse meat due to the latter's naturally high levels of glycogen. Lactic acid is produced by the bacteria as a waste product, lowering the pH and coagulating and drying the meat. The acid produced by the bacteria makes the meat an inhospitable environment for other, dangerous bacteria and imparts the tangy flavor that separates salami from machine-dried pork. The flavor of a salami relies just as much on how this bacteria is cultivated as it does on quality and variety of other ingredients. Originally, the bacteria were introduced into the meat mixture with wine, which contains other types of beneficial bacteria; now, starter cultures are used. The whole process takes about 36 weeks, although some age it more for additional taste, and some can cut it down to about 24 weeks for a sweeter taste.
The curing process is determined by the climate of the curing environment and the size and style of casing. After fermentation, the sausage has to be dried. This changes the casings from being water-permeable to being reasonably airtight. A white covering of either mold or flour helps prevent the photo-oxidation of the meat and rancidity in the fat.
Under some conditions the nitrate are produced by the breakdown of proteins. Salt, acidity, nitrate levels and dryness of the fully-cured salami combine to make the raw meat safe to consume.


Further readings

  • Jim Bacus "Utilization of Microorganisms in Meat Processing - a handbook for meat plant operators", Research Studies Press
  • Campbell-Platt, G and Cook, P. (Eds) (1995) "Fermented Meats", Blackie Academic and Professional, Glasgow
  • Darby W.J et al "Food: the gift of Osiris", London 1977
  • Gou P. et al "Potassium Chloride, Potassium lactate & Glycine as Sodium Chloride substitutes in fermented sausages & in dry cured pork loin", Meat Science vol 42 nol p37-48 1996
salami in Arabic: سلامي
salami in Czech: Salám
salami in German: Salami
salami in Spanish: Salami
salami in French: Saucisson
salami in Italian: Salame
salami in Hebrew: סלמי
salami in Luxembourgish: Salami
salami in Dutch: Salami
salami in Japanese: サラミ
salami in Norwegian: Salami
salami in Polish: Salami (wędlina)
salami in Portuguese: Salame
salami in Russian: Салями
salami in Simple English: Salami
salami in Finnish: Salami
salami in Turkish: Salam
salami in Chinese: 沙樂美腸
salami in Tagalog: Salami

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Vienna sausage, bangers, black pudding, blood pudding, bologna, braunschweiger, frank, frankfurter, gooseliver, headcheese, hot dog, knockwurst, liver sausage, liverwurst, saucisse, sausage, weenie, wiener, wienerwurst, wienie
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1