As you head into the holidays, it’s likely that a snacking staple is on the menu for your upcoming gatherings: a charcuterie board. And when it comes to filling that board, salami is often a tried and true favorite. Creminelli Fine Meats, known for their charcuterie-grade snacking, knows that when you think of salami, you’re likely thinking of the soft, thinly sliced deli meat that shows up on a sandwich (that’s usually Genoa, one of the most common salamis). But if you’re looking to impress your holiday guests or just want to know the difference between the rows of Italian deli meats at the store, a little salumi — the Italian word for cured meats — knowledge can go a long way. To expand your mind, and your palate, here are five more types of Creminelli salami to be on the lookout for next time you hit the store.
Finocchio is the Italian word for fennel — so, you can probably guess what makes this salami unique. Finocchio originated in Tuscany where an abundance of fennel fields caused salumieri (that’s Italian for salumi-makers) to use the anise-like alternative in place of the more expensive pepper. Creminelli’s handcrafted Finocchio is made with organic garlic and, of course, fennel to match a traditional Tuscan recipe. And it’s slightly less salty than the traditional version so it will pair well with a bold-flavored cheese from the same region, like an aged Pecorino Tuscano.
This salami with a little spicy kick is known as the Godfather of American Pepperoni. It’s inspired by the southern Italian city, Calabria, which is famous for producing, among other things, the spicy, salty and smoky Calabrian peppers. The peppers give Calabrese its heat and signature fire-red color. Creminelli’s mildly spicy Calabrese is made with paprika and crushed red pepper, which beyond being a great component on a charcuterie board makes it a near perfect addition to pizzas, paninis, and calzones.
Stemming from the Italian tradition of each household making their own version of salami, Casalingo (or salami di casa) translates to “the salami of the house” or “household salami.” The Creminelli recipe, which started in their home in the province of Biella and eventually became popularized throughout the region, dates back to 1901. The tradition has been passed down from generation to generation and now into the Casalingo that Creminelli makes every day. It’s well known for its high quality, natural ingredients and taste that is sweet, simple, and not overbearing.
One of the more well-known and widely available salamis, Sopressata, originally got its name from how it was made: pressing the salami between planks of wood for a flattened, straight shape. However, it wasn’t until Northern Italians in the Veneto region did away with the pressed shape that created what has become an international favorite today. Because every region has a slightly different take on it, Sopressatta ranges widely in flavor from sweet to salty. Creminelli’s falls somewhere in between, made with fresh garlic and Sangiovese wine, making it a near perfect pairing for fruit-forward Italian wines.
While all of the products previously mentioned are impressive and delicious in their own right, only Felino can be referred to as the “King of Salami,” a moniker it’s earned for being known for using high-quality cuts of pork. Originating in a small Italian village of the same name, historical records show that Felino dates back to the first century. Felino is typically soft to the touch, appears ruby-red in color, and has a delicate aroma and sweet taste. Creminelli’s small batch, artisan-made Felino uses the highest quality pork, sea salt, natural flavors like celery powder, organic spices, and organic garlic—ensuring that it is fit to wear the crown.
If you’re ready to do some salumi taste-testing of your own, Creminelli can be found at retailers selling premium charcuterie or by going to creminelli.com/locate to find Creminelli near you.