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Is pepperoni the same as chorizo?

henri cat Mar 3, 2008 09:34 AM


  1. TorontoTips May 21, 2012 09:47 AM

    Just some background for the enthusiasts...
    Pepperoni, actually a dry-cooked spicy sausage, is an american invention, as is the sauce, cheese & toppings style of pizza that predominates in the USA.
    The word pepperoni or peperoni does indeed mean a hot chile pepper, not a sausage, to most of the rest of the world.
    Chorizo on the other hand is a spanish/potuguese spicy sausage, typically made with pork and smoked spanish paprika which gives it it's red colour, and is often fresh or lightly dried, but the name chorizo recently has been 'liberated' by american chefs and now appears in hundreds of variations of fresh, dried, smoked, pork, beef, mixed meat, etc. sausages, with or without casings, spicy / mild, etc.
    If you find it greasy on your pizza, (I love greasy pepperoni sausage, personally, with its red oil staining the cheese :-)) it's probably because it is fresh or under-dried, compared to pepperoni, which, as I say is usually 'cooked'.
    Salami is typically slowly dried and aged, not dry-cooked with heat, but is often a finer-grind and will be a little closer to what you think of as a pizza-topping like pepperoni.
    If you make or source a hot-dried spicy chorizo made with finely-ground meat, or a finely ground and dried salami or a sopressata, you'd find it's a similarly tasty pizza topping to pepperoni, if not exactly the same.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoTips
      sistabella May 21, 2012 11:49 AM

      eeek! Sorry!

    2. s
      sistabella May 20, 2012 11:08 AM

      henri cat,

      I have been here since 2004 and still not found a good supplier of Italian meats. I use chorizo forte in place of pepperoni. If you buy a good hard dry one (not pre-packaged/pre-sliced) you can slice it yourself and it makes a beautiful pizza.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sistabella
        huiray May 21, 2012 09:01 AM

        But as others have pointed out in this old thread, wouldn't pepperoni be an American-Italian meat/sausage anyway, not a pure Italian meat/sausage?

        Heh, this other 2011 thread might be entertaining: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778500

      2. b
        Brandon Nelson Mar 5, 2008 03:29 PM

        Similar products from different cultures. Chorizo is Spanish and pepperoni Italian. They both rock when introduced to a pizza.

        1. l
          LStaff Mar 4, 2008 07:18 AM

          I love chorizo on pizza. Maybe not sliced like pepperoni, but chopped. Pepperoni is pretty greasy too.

          1. h
            henri cat Mar 3, 2008 09:36 AM

            To clarify my question: In France I have not been able to find pepperoni, but I have substituted Spanish chorizo, which is good but not quite the same--chorizo seems much greasier, which is unpleasant on a pizza. Does pepperoni have another name here? I miss it!

            8 Replies
            1. re: henri cat
              paulj Mar 3, 2008 01:20 PM

              Pepperoni is a type of Italian salami. One book says it is Sardinian.


              1. re: henri cat
                linguafood Mar 3, 2008 01:30 PM

                Try salami. Pepperoni in Europe is usually understood to be a (hot) chili pepper, mostly of the pickled kind. It took me a while to figure out why people in the US kept calling what 'we' Yurpeans call salami, pepperoni.

                1. re: linguafood
                  Gio Mar 4, 2008 04:35 PM

                  Pepperoni is a type of dry, spicy salami.

                  Pepperoncini is a small medium hot pepper. The confusion begins when people confuse these with other sweet varieties of peppers which are known as peperoni.

                  1. re: Gio
                    linguafood Mar 4, 2008 04:49 PM

                    Yeah, I'm aware of that, actually '-D

                    But, the fact is: if you order a pizza with pepperoni in Germany, you'll get one with hot peppers (jalapeños are often the US equivalent), in the US, you get one with salami slices.

                    I am not saying that those are the correct termini for either pizza.

                    1. re: linguafood
                      Gio Mar 4, 2008 05:00 PM

                      Oh that's funny. I kinda thought you of all people would know the difference. My problem I guess, is that I've never ordered a pepperoni pizza in Germany. Natur Schnitzel, yes. But not Pizza.

                      1. re: linguafood
                        BrianChido Jul 26, 2011 11:02 AM

                        Evveryone is correct. In parts of Italy the dried paprika and red pepper spiced sausage is known as Peperone. However, throughout Europe a picked banana pepper is known as Pepperoni or peperone. if you order an Italian dish con pepperoni, it will come with peppers not salami. so it looks like several variations of the same word and spelling exist. but in Italian you will find that the closest cousin to American Pepperoni Sausage is called Salamino piccante. then there are pepperoncino or peperoncini, which are a type of pepperoni (chili)....Hmmm... confusing enough. maybe the bottom line is if the sausage used chil pepper to season it, it was probably called Pepperoni Sausage, and we americans dropped the last word, as we have done with Brat-wurst, and simply call them Brats, which eludes the fact that it's a sausage.

                  2. re: henri cat
                    Scrapironchef Mar 4, 2008 04:23 PM

                    Weirdly enough, I've substituted pepperoni for chorizo a couple of times here in the states.

                    1. re: henri cat
                      farmersdaughter Mar 5, 2008 06:28 AM

                      Both pepperon (the American word for a spicy salami) and chorizo are cured pork products but the fat content and spicing are different. And chorizo is usually drier than most American pepperonis. In Italy, what an American would call pepperoni, an Italian would call salumi piccante (spicy salami). Peperoni in Italian are bell peppers. So look for an Italian spicy salami.

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