Salami are a family of coarse, dry, boldly seasoned sausages. The intense flavour of salami arises from the long curing process, during which the sausage matures in its skin. This process also means that salami are safe and ready to eat, despite being uncooked.
Traditional salami combines a mixture of minced beef, pork, wine, salt and various herbs and spices. The term 'salami' is Italian, but varieties of cured sausage can be found around the world (often named after the region or country of origin).
Salami varies in size, shape, seasoning and curing process; well known examples include pepperoni, Spanish chorizo and French garlic sausage.
All year round.
Choose the best
Given the huge range of dried sausage and salami available these days, it is difficult to generalise about what to look for. Generally, avoid salami that is dried out and pale. When buying pre-sliced salami from a deli counter be sure to ask whether it has been recently cut - meat that has been sliced for several hours will look dry and unappetising.
Salami is best served at room temperature.
Store pre-packaged salami in the fridge and consume by the use by date, or two to three days after opening. Freshly-sliced salami can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Try sausage or chorizo.