Once every week or two, Mr. and Mrs. FamilyTrivium and the kids will have pizza. We might get takeout, we might eat-in, or we might make our own. Regardless of where the pizza comes from, it seems inevitable that at least one will be topped with pepperoni. What is this irresistible topping?

Looking to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, we find pepperoni, with an origin in Italy, is defined as

a dry sausage that is characteristically firm, spicy, and bright red in color. Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American-style pizzerias. It is a variety of salami, usually made from cured pork and beef.

The Online Etymology Dictionary indicates that it first appeared in use in American English in 1919, derived from Italian “peperone” or “chilli.” So is it Italian or American? Well, both – According to Liguria Foods, maker of pepperoni and other Italian meat products, it is thought to have been developed in the U.S. by Italian immigrants. Further:

“Peperoni” is actually the Italian word for large peppers, as in bell peppers, and there is no Italian salami called by that name, though some salamis from Calabria and Apulia are similarly spicy and flushed red with dried chilies.

Do you like pepperoni on your pizza? On anything? By itself? Share in the comments.


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