what are pepperoni made of

What Are Pepperoni Made Of

Ever wondered what are pepperoni made of? Learn about the ingredients that make up this popular pizza topping.

What’s Pepperoni Made Out Of?

So, what’s pepperoni made of? Pepperoni is a type of Italian sausage made from ground beef and pork. Pepperoni is most commonly found in the United States, but can also be found in other countries around the world. Pepperoni is often made up of two types of meat – pork and beef. The ground beef is mixed with spices and then injected with natural casings.



Is Pepperoni real meat?

Some people question whether or not pepperoni is real meat because of its flavorings. However, it is made from real meat and is a popular type of salami.

Pepperoni uses real meat and blended spices. We’ll cover each as a separate topic, first starting with what more specifics of what meat that pepperoni is made of.


Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni on Pizza

What Meat is Pepperoni Made Out Of

While the meat is mostly a combination of pork and beef, there are specialty versions made with turkey or beef. Some will make it with just around 7-8 spices. Each pepperoni producer has their own recipe.

Pepperoni is a type of spicy salami that is usually made out of pork and beef. It is often flavored with pepper, paprika, and other spices.

As pepperoni is actually a type of sausage/salami, a good combination of spices are needed.

Spices in Pepperoni


spices and herbs
Spices and Herbs

Here are a lot of the spices in pepperoni that are blended into the meats mixture. However, each manufacturer uses their own list:

  • paprika (most will always include this ingredient, which gives it the reddish color)
  • garlic
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • mustard seed
  • fennel seed

There is a major process that’s followed to make pepperoni and often includes fermentation and curing. Some of this is explained from a very good article “Is Pepperoni Made From Pork?” on VeryMeaty.com. However, with that said, it can also be made at home. There are sausage and pepperoni kits easily available for performing that set of tasks.

Pepperoni Casing

So after the meat mixture and blended spices are processed together, they’re packed in casings. These, of course, are intended to be edible so a popular type of casing is fibrous made from cellulose. Depending on the thickness of the pepperoni slices, sometimes people desire to peel off the outer casing, which is generally easily. A popular casing producer (Viscofan) for pepperoni uses a fibrous cellulose product.

Where Does Pepperoni Come From?

Is pepperoni Italian? No; pepperoni comes from America! But, actually it’s from Italian immigrants to America. In summary, it’s a form of a somewhat “mildly hot” salami and it was created with what resources were available when away from the homeland of Italy. It’s first mentioned in the early 1900s in lower Manhattan.


Manhattan was early reference of pepperoni

Manhattan was early reference of Pepperoni

Photo by Glodi Miessi on Unsplash


Who Made Pepperoni?

The sausage meats, methods, and spices that Italian-Americans were used to, weren’t prevalent in America. And, if they could make the sausages or salamis they wanted to, the cost was exorbitantly high. Plus, it would have taken months to cure.

So, with different resources, they eventually created a new way to speed up the curing and other processes of the meats along with a different set of spices for the seasonings. All of this also made it more affordable. Regarding its naming, mostly the Italian-Americans just considered the name pepperoni as an accepted name for their new type of sausage.

Pepperoni for Pizza


pepperoni closeup on pizza
pepperoni closeup on pizza

Regarding pepperoni pizza, pepperoni actually didn’t get to be popular on pizza until after WWII. And, although pizzas originated in Italy, pepperoni on pizzas did not. And, even then, it was only popular in New York City pizzerias. Around 1950, it was noticed by a foods author as a pizza topping in New Haven, Connecticut. After that, it gradually spread across the country. Coincidentally, the 1950s and 1960s were when the fast food chains exploded in growth on America. So, it was around 1960 when the pepperoni pizza became recognizably popular nationwide.

Pepperoni on Pizza

Pepperoni on Pizza is one of the most popular uses for this meat product. You can see our recipe for Pepperoni Pizza and see why we like to cover the top completely.



Conclusion

In conclusion, pepperoni is a type of meat that is usually made out of pork and beef. The spices that are blended into the meat give it its unique flavor. Pepperoni can be made at home with a kit, or it can be purchased at a grocery store or pizza shop. It is most commonly used on pizzas and subs, but can also be eaten alone.

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