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Salami 101 – Different Types Of Salami And How To Tell Them Apart

One of the best parts of being a salami lover is the fact that there are so many different types of salami to choose from. There are hundreds of denominations of salami hailing from every region of the world, with even more unique variations being created each day. That means you could spend your entire life touring the world one salami at a time and still never get to try them all!

What is Salami?

Before you decide to set off on a stomach-searching adventure, it’s important to know the true definition of salami.The word salami has been around for centuries and is derived from the singular Italian word “salume”, which refers to all types of salted meat. If you ever find yourself in a “salami” vs. “salume” debate, just know that you’re actually both right! 

The three main components that set different types of salami apart are the ingredients, how the meat is cut and the way it is prepared. Some salamis use a blend of spices to create complex flavors, while others are a bit simpler. Although, what they lack in ingredients, they make up for in preparation.

Different Types of Salami

Now that you know what salami is, it’s time to get acquainted with some of the most popular and well-loved types of salami out there.

Genoa Salami

Genoa salami is a specific type of salami that originates in the Genoa region of Italy. It is a medium grind, garlic-heavy salami with a smooth rich flavor and clean finish. The simple nature of this salami is what makes it such a popular option. It’s perfect for integrating into everyday recipes or adding to charcuterie boards.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Sugar, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Garlic, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

fontina cheese
roasted peppers
sparkling prosecco
warm bread

Volpi Genoa: Genoa Nuggets, Genoa Salame 4 oz., Genoa Salame 8 oz., Genoa Salame (Half Cut), Genoa Salame 5 lbs.

Genoa Salame is a garlic black pepper sliced salami by Volpi Foods.

Felino Salami

Felino salami, also known as “the king of salami”, originates from a small town in Italy called… you guessed it, Felino! This salami is known for its smooth consistency and dazzling flavor, rich with peppercorns and wine. This delicate salami is minimally spiced and slow-aged to bring out a sweet flavor. It often appears bright red when you cut into it with coarse ground lean pork and fat pieces speckled throughout the salami. When serving, we recommend cutting each slice on a bias at about 1/8-inch thick. This ensures that you get the perfect balance of zesty peppercorn and smooth fat.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Cane Sugar, Spices, Natural Flavorings, Garlic, Chianti Red Wine, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

country style crusty bread
parmigiano reggiano cheese
red wine

Volpi Felino: Felino Salame

Volpi Bulk Felino Salame Volpi Foods


Sopressata was created in Italy and now beloved in the United States. Sopressata is a simple salami that comes in both a mild and spicy version, using cracked black peppercorns for a mild taste and crushed Calabrian red pepper flakes for a spicy take. The pork is ground with certain spices dependent on local traditions and is then encased and hung up to dry. The end result is a wonderfully smooth texture and extraordinary bold flavor.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Sugar, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Garlic, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

fresh goat cheese
crackers with seeds
wheat beer
dry rose

Volpi Sopressata: Traditional Sopressata 4 oz., Sopressata Salame, Spicy Sopressata, Sopressata Salame 8 oz., Spicy Sopressata 8 oz., Small Bites Sopressata, Small Bites Spicy Sopressata


Pepperoni is one of the only Italian cured meats that’s actually an American-borne phenomenon. Thought to have grown to popularity in Italian-American butcher shops in the early 1900s, pepperoni is the most prominent pizza topping in the US, making an appearance on at least 35% of all pizza orders. As a salami, pepperoni stands out for its signature smoky and sweet flavor.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Sugar, Spices, Paprika, Sugar, Natural Flavoring, Sunflower Oil, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

your favorite pizza
green salad
fresh mozzarella
craft ipa

Volpi Pepperoni: Gourmet Uncured Pepperoni, Gourmet Uncured Pepperoni 4 oz., Uncured Pepperoni Nuggets


Chorizo is a dried, Spanish-style salami rich with smoked paprika, fresh garlic, herbs, and spices. It’s important to note that there are two main kinds of chorizo—Mexican and Spanish. Mexican chorizo is made with ground pork and usually sold fresh and uncooked. Spanish chorizo is also ground pork mixed with spices, but instead of being sold raw, it undergoes a curing process. By performing this process, Spanish chorizo is the only chorizo that is classified as a type of salami. It is a great alternative to pepperoni if you’re looking for something with a bit more of a kick to it. It’s a spice lover’s dream with a bold flavor and a deep smoky undertone.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Sugar, Paprika, Spices, Natural Flavorings, Garlic, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

aged manchego
fruit preserves
rioja wine

Volpi Chorizo: Traditional Chorizo, Traditional Chorizo 4 oz., Traditional Chorizo 6 oz.

Peppered Salame

Peppered Salami is a finely ground salami that is encased in black pepper to create a bold, pepper-rich finish. The pepper lends a spicy flavor to the salami and it is best enjoyed sliced on a charcuterie board or an Italian sandwich. Pair them with your favorite cheeses and Chianti wine for a perfectly delicious meal.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Sugar, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Starter Culture.

Pairs Well With:

mozzarella di bufala
salted tomato basil

Volpi Peppered Salami: Traditional Peppered Salami 4 oz., Traditional Peppered Salami 8 oz.

Cacciatore Salami

Cacciatore Salami, a “hunter’s style” salami, received its name from the hunters of Italy, who preferred its size and flavor because it provided a hearty, nutritious snack.  A beautifully simple recipe, Cacciatore salume lets the natural meat flavor shine, and minimal spices enhance the flavor notes like fresh garlic and coarse ground black pepper.

Ingredients: Pork, Sea Salt, Cane Sugar, Natural Flavorings, Garlic, Starter Culture

Pairs Well With:

parmigiano reggiano cheese
crusty bread
cold ale
pinot grigio

Volpi Cacciatore: Cacciatore Salame

Finocchiona Salami

Finocchiona Salami is a variety that originated in the Tuscany region hundreds of years ago. Folklore suggests that pepper, a core ingredient in salami, was too expensive, instead, the locals substituted a spice that grew abundantly around the region, fennel. “Finocchio” is the Italian word for fennel, and finocchiona salami has a rich spice blend that incorporates toasted fennel seeds to create a product that is fragrant and mouthwatering.

Ingredients: Pork, Pork Fat, Sea Salt, Fennel, Sugar, Pepper, Natural Flavoring, Garlic, Starter Culture

Pairs Well With:

olive oil
warm bread
pinot grigio

Volpi Finocchiona: Finocchiona Salame

Wine Salami

Wine salami is exactly what it sounds like—salami that is made with wine. All salami-lovers know that wine pairs beautifully with cured meat, so deciding to actually craft salami using wine made perfect sense. The practice of infusing wine into salami dates back many generations to when cured meat was just starting to take off. Master Salumieri saw the opportunity of using homemade wines to enhance flavor and it’s been a cherished practice ever since. When it comes to flavor, wine perfectly complements the spices typically found in a good salami and can help bring out additional aroma, flavor, and texture from the meat.

Ingredients: Pork, Salt, Wine Concentrate, Sugar, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Garlic, Acid Starter Culture.

*The ingredients will differ depending on the type of salami and wine used.

Pairs Well With:

soft cheese
warm bread
multigrain crackers

Volpi Wine Salami: Rosé Salame, Pinot Grigio Salame, Chianti Salame