old world pepperoni

American Vs. Old World Pepperoni – Which One Is Better?

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Old World Pepperoni – Also referred to as pepperoni sausage, pepperoni is a specific variety of salami originating in the USA. It’s basically a mixture of beef and pork, but it’s also seasoned with hot spices like chili or paprika. Also, it’s extremely common in pizza recipes.

Chances are if you order a spicy pizza, it will have pepperoni on it. However, just like most other toppings out there, pepperoni also comes in two different varieties. Most people can’t tell the difference when they eat pizza, yet an experienced cook will know how and when to use the right one.

Understanding the Concept of Old World Pepperoni

Known as the old world pepperoni, this variety is the topping that makes a pizza special. Just like the classic type of pepperoni, this one is also made from beef and pork. The meat is ground and mixed together, then seasoned accordingly. Some varieties imply using breadcrumbs as well, yet this isn’t a general rule.

While often referred to as a type of salami, pepperoni is actually made like a sausage. Once done and cased accordingly, it is properly preserved through a few techniques, such as smoking, curing or drying. From many points of view, the sausage is said to be the American version of the actual salami, yet they both originate in the USA and the manufacturing process is strictly a matter of personal choice.

Making the difference between old world pepperoni and other types of sausage is easy. You can tell its hot nature by the spicy appearance – bright red. Also, it’s soft and often smoky.

See also: Ziti Vs. Penne

Classic Pepperoni Versus Old World Pepperoni

The classic pepperoni is referred to as American pepperoni in most cooking books. It’s stored in artificial casing for an even distribution of meat. Basically, the stick is straight and has the same consistency through it. It’s easy to slice and has a mild hot flavor. It’s definitely not as spicy as the old world alternative, not to mention its color – orange nuances instead of bright red.

Old world pepperoni carries the same main characteristics, but with a few differences. It tastes better because of the natural casing. The casing can be found in commerce as sheep guts. It’s way spicier than American pepperoni and sometimes, it has a mahogany nuance due to the high amount of spices. Unlike American pepperoni, it’s slightly curled due to the natural casing. As for the thickness, it varies from one butcher to another. Slicing it won’t be as easy, but it’s still doable.

When on a pizza, the old world variety is usually smaller than the classic option. The skin is still visible, yet you don’t have to pick it. Sometimes, it just burns away.


In conclusion, knowing the differences between American and old world pepperoni will help you make better decisions if you truly want to follow a recipe in the smallest details. The two varieties can be interchangeably used if you can’t find one type or another, without actually affecting the final taste too much.

See also: Frittata Vs. Quiche

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Katie Leslove

I have a passion for cooking different foods every day, and that’s why I have chosen it as the topic for my writings. I cook the dishes, garnish it with green veggies and snap the photo. I like to show those photos to my blog readers. Read More