America’s Favorite Pizza Topping: Pepperoni

By mahir | February 3, 2011

I loved reading Julia Moskin’s piece yesterday on America’s favorite pizza topping: pepperoni.  Pepperoni pizza is definitely my favorite, and I was surprised to read about it’s non-Italian origins.

So what is pepperoni exactly?  Moskin describes it as “an air-dried spicy sausage with a few distinctive characteristics: it is fine-grained, lightly smoky, bright red and relatively soft.”  It’s origins are likely Midwestern, from a German-style sausage called Thuringer.  I like that pepperoni is multi-cultural.  All cuisines borrow ingredients and styles of cooking from one another, this pizza-topper is an embodiment of that blending of tastes and traditions.

As a chef and food-lover, I can understand why some die-hard Italian chefs would forgo this American “bastardization” of Italian salumi, but for me – the flavors work perfectly together.  Check out Ms. Moskin’s article on the history and contemporary details of pepperoni here.

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