Salami Vs Summer Sausage – What’s The Difference?

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Salami and summer sausage are often confused for each other, and for good reason. Both look similar, have a similar taste, and a fairly similar texture too, and telling them apart can be a little difficult at times.

However, the two are different, as their different names imply, and have their own characteristics unique to themselves.

What is the difference between salami and summer sausage? While similar in taste, texture, and looks, the main difference between salami and summer sausage is the moisture content. Summer sausage has a higher moisture content than salami, and this does distinguish the two quite a bit.

If you want to know more about salami and summer sausage, and the difference between them, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

All About Salami

Salami is a very popular cured meat that is quite highly seasoned. Salami is seasoned, fermented, and then dried. The fermenting and drying process gives salami the unique flavor that it has, as well as the texture.

Salami is traditionally made from pork, but you can find salami made from a wide range of meats now too. It can be eaten as is, sliced on a sandwich, or as a topping on a pizza. The cured flavor is delicious enjoyed in any way!

The process of making salami includes mixing the meat, fat, cure, and seasoning together, and then leaving the sausage to ferment over time and dry. The mix of the ingredients and meat is stuffed into a special casing.

Different salami recipes call for different seasonings, but the traditional seasonings include garlic, salt, and a mix of herbs. 

Fermentation of salami can range from a few days to a few years, depending on how and where it is being made. However, most grocery store salami is only cured for a few months.

When fermented, the yeast and lactic acid in the sausage increase, and this gives salami its unique flavor.

What Is Salami Served With?

Salami can be served in many different ways, and with many different things. Salami can be sliced up and eaten as is for a snack, or it can be fried up with omelets for breakfast.

A popular pizza choice is a salami-topped pizza, or you could have it with some grated cheese in a toasted sandwich.

Salami can be served in a sausage, which you can slice up yourself, or it can be sold already sliced. 

Are There Different Types Of Salami?

Salami has been made for quite a long time, and it is popular almost worldwide. Due to this, there are many different types of salami made.

There are lots of different salami recipes found around the world, with special types made in Italy, Germany, Spain, and France.

A popular type of salami Is Nduja, which is a pork sausage salami that has a kick of chili. Another popular type is Salame Napoli, which is made with pork loin, leg, shoulder, and specific spices.

How Long Will Salami Last?

Unrefrigerated, sealed salami can be kept in the pantry for up to 6 weeks. Once opened, the salami should be eaten within 1 week.

As there are various types of salami, the expiry does differ, so you should always check the expiry date or best-by date on the packaging and follow the storage guidelines to ensure that the salami does not spoil too quickly.

All About Summer Sausage

Summer sausage is an old type of sausage that has been made for centuries. Initially made by German settlers, summer sausage has been a staple in many households since.

This cured sausage was first made as an answer to keeping meat fresh through long journeys, and curing the meat in a sausage form was a great way to preserve it.

Summer sausage is a fairly broad term now, and pretty much encompasses just about any type of sausage that can be kept out of the fridge before it is opened, either dried or smoked.

Summer sausage is specific to how the sausage is preserved. The fermentation process allows for the slower growth of bacteria, which keeps the sausage fresh for longer.

Summer sausage is most often made from a mix of ground pork and beef, but you can find some which are beef alone.

The most popular seasonings used are black pepper, salt, garlic, mustard seeds, and a few more. With these seasonings and the preservation method, summer sausage develops a tangy flavor that many love.

What Is Summer Sausage Served With?

Summer sausage can be served with many things. A popular way to serve summer sausage is to simply slice it up and serve it along with some cheese and wine.

Cheddar and other mild cheeses are a great option, such as Gouda. Some crackers complete the snack perfectly.

Summer sausage can also be added to pizza as a tangy topping, or sliced and enjoyed in a sandwich.

If you are pairing summer sausage with some wine, opt for Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir.

How Long Will Summer Sausage Last?

Summer sausage came about from the need to preserve food for longer, but it still helps to know how to store it properly.

The best way to know how long summer sausage will last is to read the labels and abide by the best-by date. Most summer sausages can be kept in the pantry, but there are some that call for refrigeration, so be sure to check this.

Once you have opened the summer sausage package, you should place it in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Properly preserved summer sausages can keep in the fridge for 2-3 months, whereas others should be eaten in 2-3 weeks, so make sure to follow the package guidelines.

What Is The Difference Between Summer Sausage And Salami?

Whether you have had both summer sausage and salami before, or only one, it does help to know the difference between the two, to be able to tell them apart more easily, and to choose the best one to eat.

The biggest difference between summer sausage and salami is the moisture content of the two.

Salami is considered a dry sausage, as it loses about 25% of its total moisture when it dries. Summer sausage on the other hand is only considered semi-dry and loses around 15% of its total moisture as it dries.

The moisture content does give the two a different texture, and a different feel when eaten, and is possibly the best way to tell the two apart.

The meat of both summer sausage and salami is cured using curing salts such as sodium nitrate and nitrite. These also stop the growth of bacteria, which preserves the meat for longer and helps to preserve the color of the sausage.

Ideally, the sausages should be cured at around 55°F and should be in a 70% humid environment.

Another difference is how long both can last before spoiling. Summer sausage can be kept in the fridge unopened for around three months, whereas salami can be kept for up to six weeks unopened.

When opened, summer sausage should be eaten within three weeks, which is the same for when salami is opened too.

The Similarities Between Summer Sausage And Salami

Summer sausage and salami have things in common, which is why the two get confused often.

Both are cured sausages that can be kept in the pantry or fridge for some time before being opened. The meat and other ingredients are fermented, which gives the two a very particular, tangy taste.

You can serve summer sausage and salami sliced with some cheese and wine, or on a sandwich with some cheese. Both also make for a delicious topping on pizza too!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the differences between salami and summer sausage, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Does salami taste like summer sausage?

Salami and summer sausage do taste very similar, but there are different types of summer sausage and salami, and different spices used for different recipes.

However, the curing and drying process does give them both a similar tangy taste.

Why is it called summer sausage?

Summer sausage was given its name through the fact that it needed to last through longer journeys without being refrigerated, and that meant the sausages could be kept to be eaten in the warmer summer months.

What are the black dots in salami?

The black dots in salami are most likely black peppercorns. Not all types of salami contain black peppercorns, but those that do obviously have a peppery flavor, and those small black spots dotted around the salami slices!

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