When I first started working at Bill’s Farm I was amazed by the huge variety of salami we have on offer. Hungarian, sopressa, casalinga, salsiccia, chingiale, saucisson … Delicious cured sausages from all around the world. But how are they different from each other? And how to know
which one to choose? That’s what I set out to discover for this post. It required some research and plenty of tasting (poor me, right?), but here are the results.
So what is salami?
Before getting into the different types of this delicacy, let’s talk a bit about what salami actually is. While the word salami is of Italian origin, it’s generally used to describe cured sausages with intense flavour. Made from pork and beef mince, salt and various herbs, salami is matured to perfection during the long curing period, in which the meat matures in its’ skin. Because of this process, salami is safe to eat uncooked – just like other cured meats.
Everyday favourites: Hungarian, casalinga and sopressa
Most of our Bill’s Farm customers go for these three varieties, and for a good reason. They’re versatile, have just the right amount of flavour and are freshly sliced every day.
My personal favourite is casalinga with its’ soft texture and notes of garlic and herbs in the flavour. Our Hungarian free-range salami is a bit more tart in taste, whereas sopressa is spotted with whole peppercorns, lending a nice, fruity aroma to the taste. All of them also have a spicier version to provide a bit more kick to the palate without being too hot - the Hungarian being the spiciest of all. So make sure you try both the mild and hot varieties of each.
Italian and Spanish beauties: Cacciatore and chorizo
Home to most of the great cured meats or salumi of the world, the cacciatore also originates from Italy. Cacciatore means ‘hunter’ in Italian and the story goes that hunters used to carry these tasty sausages on their trips. Cacciatore is flavoured with Italian herbs, garlic and occasionally chilli or fennel seeds.
Chorizo isn’t technically a salami, but as it is one of the most sold cured sausages in the shop, I also wanted to mention it here. Spicy, bold and beautiful, it’s great in Spanish-inspired breakfast dishes (scrambled eggs and chorizo, hellooo), pasta and pizza. We have 3 varieties - fresh/uncooked, mild and hot.
The list goes on: salsiccia, saucisson sec, nduja and wild boar chingiale
In addition to the ones already mentioned, we stock over 10 additional types of salami and cured sausages at the Farm. I especially love the strong, fatty flavour of salsiccia in a pizza (combine with mushrooms, capsicum and flat leaf parsley for example), while the refined French-style saucisson sec is something I could munch on indefinitely, just on its’ own. If you haven’t yet, the Spanish spicy and soft salami nduja (pronounced “en-doo-ya”) is definitely worth a try as well. Try spreading it on toast or adding it into a squid pasta as Hakim did a while ago. Ask Mark for his favourite and he will tell you “Chingiale is easily the best salami we have”.
Hungry yet? Do stop by the Farm the get the ingredients for your morning roll, lunchtime pizza or a full meat platter for your dinner party. But whichever salami you choose, remember one thing: just like with cheese, the flavours really come out when the meat is served room temperature.
We hope to see you at Bill’s Farm very soon,