Pepperoni is undoubtedly one of those words that come to our mind when we think of something delicious and wholesome at the same time. It’s probably because of this factor that it is loved internationally. It is very soft, looks red in color, and has a smoky flavor. The taste and texture of pepperoni make it the most fabulous meat product that is processed universally. It would be very fair to call it the “American salami” as it is basically salami with an American twist. Apart from being eaten whole and solely, pepperoni is also a mainstay of a number of dishes. The most popular one being the much-loved pizza topping. Americans just can’t do without a good pepperoni pizza. In fact, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call it a worldwide hit. On that note, let’s find all the secrets behind pepperoni.
The origin of pepperoni
The name pepperoni comes from the Italian word “peperoni” meaning bell pepper. However, do not tell yourself that Pepperoni is Italian because it is not. Pepperoni is a purely American edible. It is a mixture of cured pork and beef, which is seasoned with chili pepper and paprika. If it were Italian, it would be called salame picante, which means spicy salami. Like we mentioned before, pepperoni is an American adaptation of salami. The origin pepperoni can be placed back to the twentieth century when Italian immigrants moved to America and started experimenting with flavors. They mixed Southern European flavors with American ingredients. The pepperoni was first mentioned in 1919 in New York City. This is the time period when people were enjoying pepperoni as toppings in pizzerias there.
Pepperoni, the favorite pizza topping
The smooth and excellent pizza of Naples that was topped with cheese, mushroom and anchovies, enlightened Americans about pizza. However, today American pizza is miles away in terms of composition if we compare it to its origins. It is saucy and spicy because of the variety of toppings that Americans love and demand. The Government’s Yearbook of Agriculture mentioned pepperoni for the first time in the history of print in 1984. They called it the dry sausage.
It was only after the first world war that the word pepperoni was used commonly for sausage, according to Colin Caplan, who is a pizza scholar, a historian, and author of New Haven Apizza. Even then, this term was only sticking to Italian-American marketplaces.
Making and serving pepperoni
Pepperoni is basically a beautiful blend of beef and cured pork. Sometimes turkey meat is also present, but it is mandatory in the United States that any unknown ingredient should be mentioned to the consumer.
The meat is cured with the help of nitrites or nitrates, and these elements react with the heme in the myoglobin of the meat. This is the reason behind the bright red color of pepperoni. However, the process of curing is essential as it protects the meat against botulism and other types of microbiological decay. And it’s not like the bright red color of pepperoni pushes away the consumers. They are all about that fresh and healthy pepperoni topping on their pizza.
Pepperoni is more than just a pizza topping, though. It is a healthy snack, and one should not shy away from munching on it properly, though. You can serve cheese alongside some pepperoni. It is a nutritious and delicious combination because the bland taste of cheese makes the perfect friendship with the saucy pepperoni. Another way to have pepperoni is deep-frying it and eating it with honey mustard dip. This combo is usually served as a side dish in bars and pubs in Italy, America, and other nations where pepperoni is welcomed with open arms.
The love for Pepperoni
Pepperoni is the one true of all Americans. They eat almost 250 pounds of it as a topping on pizza every year. There’s no such thing as pepperoni overdose for them. They are all about that spicy, smoky taste. In fact, it’s not just pizza that pepperoni is loved with; there are special rolls stuffed with the majestic pepperoni, sold in a few American states.
You will be shocked to know that pepperoni is not a delicacy just for the meat-eaters. There is a particular type of pepperoni available for our vegetarian friends too. We will certainly make some vegetarians raise their eyebrows with our statement, but trust us, we are not fooling anyone. The vegan pepperoni is a real thing and is made of vital wheat ground flour. It is a natural source of protein that is found in wheat. This is the base that makes for the meaty texture of vegan pepperoni. To add flavor, tomato paste and other spices are added.