Food for thought: How Authentic is Pepperoni?

A little too American?

On any given day I’ll reach into the fridge for a bite of salami, sopressata, prosciutto, or provolone. If none are in the drawer pepperoni is a very distant possibility. Around here it is a choice for kids.

I’ll add it to a homemade pizza, but mostly to keep others happy. For Those People, it will go on a tomato-based pizza.  On a pizza for my taste, it is possible found slivered, rather than sliced, and spinkled on a “white” pizza with sautéd spinach and slivers of roasted red peppers. The pepperoni adds just a bit of smokey salty spicy goodness to empower the flavors.

Beyond that I haven’t given pepperoni much thought until this week.  It does seem a bit Americanized, a point that was drilled home by this article in the New York Times. I’d not previously given thought to the fact I’d never seen a stick of pepperoni in Italy. I’m sure I hadn’t missed it there because there were so many other smoked and aged gems to try.

After you read this, you might decide to make your own pizza this weekend — and skip the pepperoni? It’s worth considering. Just make sure you have some good olive oil!


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