When topping Italian pizza, processed meat, particularly salami, is a preferred choice. But there is no single type of salami. It comes in a variety of flavors and combinations. This includes Soppressata and Genoa salami.
Such diversity has led to the common confusion between them. If you need clarification, keep reading this blog about these two salami products and their distinct flavors. We will dive deep into the Soppressata vs. Genoa salami comparison.
Table of Contents
What is Soppressata?
Soppressata is also known as dried or Italian salami. It originated in Calabria, in the southwestern part of Italy. However, it is easily found all over the country. The distinct and unique shape of Soppressata is not similar to most salami types.
Soppressata comes from pork, which makes it fatty. It is not made with any random cuts, though. The meat must be lean and tender, so meat from the shoulder is ideal for making Soppressata. The spices used in seasoning Soppressata can differ depending on the production area.
However, it is famous for its intense flavors from spices and herbs like garlic, cloves, and cinnamon. The spicy flavor also comes from using black peppercorns and dried chili peppers. Still, it is not considered unbearably hot.
What is Genoa Salami?
As the name suggests, Genoa salami comes from Genoa in Italy. This salami type is also dried and cured. In general, dry salamis like this one are supposed to last all year since they are wrapped in their casing.
But what makes this salami special is that no artificial preservatives are added to the meat. Natural lactic acid bacteria play the role of added preservatives.
This salami is known for its bold flavor, which comes from its ingredients. It mainly consists of softly chopped pork and salt. Then, black pepper, sea salt, and some red wine are added to the meat before wrapping it in the casing.
The primary type of chopped meat used in this salami product is pork. However, you may encounter cured beef or veal stuffed into the same casing. Still, these are rare. The addition of wine along with garlic increases the tanginess and acidity in the flavor profile of this dry sausage.
What are the Differences between Soppressata and Genoa salami?
If you are not familiar with the different types of salami, you might think that soppressata and genoa-dried salami are the same. But to a trained eye, the differences are easily noticeable. Also, a true fan of dried sausages can easily distinguish the tastes.
Soppressata and Genoa salami both come from Italy. However, they were not created in the same region. Soppressata comes from Calabria. So typically, it is a product of southern Italy.
Genoa salami, on the other hand, comes from Genoa. This makes this type of salami a Northern Italian product.
This is one of the main differences between Soppressata and Genoa dry salami. They are both dried sausages, and curing does not bring them together. The latter must be cured, while the former is never cured. Despite some cured variants of Soppressata, they are rare.
Soppressata is coarsely ground in a way that resembles Spanish chorizo. So, the meat and fat will appear as thick chunks. Genoa salami, on the other hand, has a fine and soft texture. The thick texture of Soppressata is not a problem for those eating it. All it takes is cutting it into medium-sized slices.
Another noteworthy difference in this matter is the fatty texture of Genoa salami. You can notice the greasy texture with the naked eye. This is due to the soft grinding of the fat with the meat to make this salami. Soppressata, on the other hand, will feel drier due to the coarse grind of its fat.
You will see differences in their shapes if you can see unsliced Genoa dry salami and Soppressata simultaneously. The latter has an oblong shape, while the Genoa salami appears round.
Another distinction between Soppressata and Genoa salami is found in their ingredients. Typically, there are some similar ingredients, like garlic, salt, and pepper. But other ingredients, such as wine and white pepper, are only used in seasoning Genoa salami.
Soppressata, on the other hand, has more spices and herbs in its seasoning. For instance, it has cloves, fennel, oregano, and cinnamon.
The ingredients of both dry versions of salami contribute to the difference in their taste. Sopressata is generally spicier, as it has more peppercorns. Genoa salamis are more acidic and tart.
The use of red or white wine in the seasoning emphasizes the taste of tartness. Moreover, supertasters can detect the taste of fermentation in Genoa salami.
If you focus on the color details of both types of salami, you will find a notable difference. Genoa salami is typically bright pink and wrapped in a whitish casing. Soppressata has a lively red shade. However, it can come in a darker red or even purple.
When compared to Genoa salami, Soppressata has far more varieties. For instance, the latter can be cured or uncured. Also, you can get it in a sweet version. There is a spicy version as well.
Moreover, you can find chicken soppressata. Genoa salami has only one variety and should be made the same way regardless of the place.
As types of processed meat, both salami varieties can be eaten alone or wrapped in bread. They can also be mixed with other ingredients to create a more complex dish. You can use them interchangeably, but it is better to integrate each item into the right dishes.
The intense flavor of Soppressata makes it an ideal option for sandwiches and pizzas. Furthermore, it tastes best when combined with charcuterie dishes. Genoa salami’s bitter and tangy taste works perfectly with Italian pasta and polentas.
Sopressata vs. Genoa salami: are they the same?
Sopressata and Genoa salami are different types of salami. Despite being made in Italy, both types of salami have different flavors and textures. Sopressata is always found in a rough form with thicker chunks. It is mostly uncured too.
Genoa salami is cured, greasy, and seasoned with wine. Moreover, Soppressata can be found in various tastes and versions. Geona salami tastes and looks the same anywhere in the world.
The debate over soppressata vs. genoa salami has no true winner. Neither tastes better, as it is a matter of personal preference. If you prefer the flavor of fresh thyme, cinnamon, and other similar spices in your processed meat, soppressata will be what you need. Genoa salami is what you look for if you prefer fatty and soft salami.