Pronunciation: [sah-LAH-mee]

It. salame. The name applied to a family of sausages similar to cervelats. Both styles are uncooked but safe to eat without cooking because they've been cured. Salamis, however, tend to be more boldly seasoned (particularly with garlic), coarser, drier and, unlike cervelats, rarely smoked. They're usually air-dried and vary in size, shape, seasoning and curing process. Though they're usually made from a mixture of beef and pork, the kosher versions are strictly beef. Among the best-known Italian salamis are Genoa (pork and veal, seasoned with pepper, garlic and red wine), cotto (pork and beef, flavored with garlic and studded with peppercorns), Milano (pork, beef and pork fat, seasoned with garlic, pepper and white wine) and Napoli (pork and beef, spiced with both red and black pepper). Other salamis include Danish (finely ground pork and veal, lightly spiced), French (beef and pork, variously seasoned with pepper and/or herbs) and German (a smoked combination of finely ground pork and beef). The nonpork kosher salamis are cooked and semisoft. Italian-American favorites include Alesandri and Alpino. Frizzes and pepperoni are also salami-type sausages. With the casing uncut, whole dry salamis will keep for several years. Once cut, they should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to two weeks. Salami is best served at room temperature and can be eaten as a snack or as part of an antipasto platter, or chopped and used in dishes such as soups and salads.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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