Common Types of Salami

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2018

Here are some of the distinguishing features of genoa, hard salami, and soppressata.

Panisicia, the inspiration for our Red Wine Risotto with Beans, is traditionally made with salam d'la duja, an Italian salami that's hard to find in the United States. We found three widely available deli salamis that work well as substitutes: Genoa, hard salami, and soppressata. Each is made from a mixture of raw ground meat, salt, and seasonings, which is stuffed into a casing and left to ferment and dry until cured. Below are some of their distinguishing features.

1. Genoa: This red-wine-and-garlic-flavored salami is usually made from pork but may also include veal and even beef. It has a funky, brightly acidic flavor and a softer texture than many other types of salami.

2. Hard Salami: Often imported from central or eastern Europe and made from pork or a pork-and-beef blend, this salami, which is smoked after being cured, is mild in flavor, with a firm, dry texture.

3. Soppressata: This traditionally all-pork salami is made in numerous regions in Italy; the versions sold in the United States are typically heavily flavored with either black peppercorns or spicy Calabrian chile peppers and feature a coarse grind with a firm, slightly chewy texture.