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Pepperoni is an American variety of salami, made from cured pork and beef mixed together and seasoned with paprika or other chili pepper.[1][2]

Salami pepperoni ZIMBO.jpg
Packaged pepperoni
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientspork and beef
Ingredients generally usedspices
Food energy
(per 100 g serving)
460 kcal (1926 kJ)
Nutritional value
(per 100 g serving)
Protein20.35 g
Fat40.2 g

Pepperoni is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color.[2] Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American pizzerias.[3]


The term "pepperoni" is a borrowing of peperoni, the plural of peperone, the Italian word for bell pepper. The first use of "pepperoni" to refer to a sausage dates to 1919.[2] In Italian, the word peperoncino (diminutive of peperone) refers to hot and spicy peppers.


Pepperoni is a cured dry sausage similar to the spicy salamis of southern Italy, such as salsiccia Napoletana piccante, a spicy dry sausage from Naples,[4] or the soppressata from Calabria.[5] The main differences are that pepperoni has a finer grain (akin to spiceless salami from Milan), is usually softer, and is usually produced with the use of an artificial casing. Pepperoni is mass-produced to meet the demand for the sausage.[2] In most of Italy, pepperoni would be considered a type of salamino piccante.


Pepperoni, Pork
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,940 kJ (460 kcal)
4 g
40.2 g
20.35 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Pepperoni is usually made from a mixture of pork and beef.[1] Turkey meat is also commonly used as a substitute, but the use of poultry in pepperoni must be appropriately labeled in the United States.[6]

Curing, with nitrates or nitrites (usually used in modern curing agents, to protect against botulism and other forms of microbiological decay) also contributes to pepperoni's reddish colour, by reacting with heme in the myoglobin of the proteinaceous components of the meat.[7]


According to Convenience Store Decisions, Americans consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni annually, on 36% of all pizzas produced nationally.[8] Pepperoni has a tendency to curl up from the edges in the heat of a pizza oven. Some pepperoni is produced in thicker slices, so that the edges curl intentionally.[9]

Pepperoni is also used as the filling of the pepperoni roll, a popular regional snack in West Virginia and neighboring areas.[10]

In Nova Scotia, deep fried pepperoni served on its own (usually with a honey mustard dipping sauce) is common pub food.[11][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Pepperoni is Raw Meat?". HOW FOOD February 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Moskin, Julia (February 1, 2011). "Pepperoni: America's Favorite Topping". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "America's Most Popular Pizza Toppings". Huffington Post. October 5, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2013. According to a survey done by Technomic’s MenuMonitor from July to September 2011 based on 235 different pizza places in America pepperoni and plain cheese were the #1 and #2 most popular pizzas ordered.
  4. ^ "Salumi tipici italiani: Salsiccia - Salsiccia Napoletano - Salsiccia Siena - Salsiccia Toscana". Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Soppressata calabrese". Ricette di Calabria. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Food Standards and Labelling Policy Book, USDA, pp. 133–134.
  7. ^ Flippone, Peggy Trowbridge. "A Recipe to Make Authentic Homemade Pepperoni". The Spruce. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Pizza Palates Changing". Convenience Store Decisions. June 1, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  9. ^ López-Alt, J. Kenji (December 2012). "The Food Lab: Why Does Pepperoni Curl?". Serious Eats. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Edge, John T. (September 29, 2009). "United Tastes - Pepperoni Rolls, a Piece of West Virginia Culinary History: Fast Food Even Before Fast Food". The New York Times. New York, NY. Style Section: Dining & Wine. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  11. ^ Eat This Town (February 1, 2016). "Nova Scotia Food Profiles: Pepperoni". Eat This Town. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Brown, Lola (April 2, 2013). "You Must Try: Delicious Deep Fried Pepperoni in Halifax, Nova Scotia". Travel Mindset. Retrieved January 7, 2018.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  •   The dictionary definition of pepperoni at Wiktionary