What Is Old World Pepperoni

What Is Old World Pepperoni?

I am sure that everyone has at some point in their life heard of the pepperoni sausage on pizza. But did you know that there are two different types that can be added to pizza, namely old world and new world pepperoni?

But what is old world pepperoni exactly? And what are the differences between the two different kinds of pepperoni? Do they make your pizza taste different?

In the United States, pepperoni is known to be one of the most popular ingredients to be used on top of a pizza. It is also a favorite ingredient used in many other dishes, like pasta, salads and sandwiches.

But what exactly is pepperoni?

For those of you who are not sure what pepperoni sausage is, continue on for a quick overview of it before we go into more detail on old world pepperoni, new world pepperoni and what sets them apart from one another.

Pepperoni aka Sausage Pepperoni

One can say that American pepperoni is a type of dry-cured sausage. To be more specific, it is an American spicy salami which is typically made from cured beef and pork and makes for a great topping on American pizza.

These different ground meats are typically mixed with spices such as black pepper, chili pepper, fennel, and paprika. This mixture is then stuffed into an artificial casing and allowed to cure for several weeks. After which the sausage is sliced into thin round shapes and used as a pizza topping. The pepperoni shape happens to compliment the pizza shape, which is also commonly round.

During the curing process, the sausage is smoked and sometimes also air-dried. Before American pepperoni is cooked, it has a soft texture, is bright red and has a slightly smoky taste.

Pepperoni sausage is an Italian American creation that came about in the United States during the 1900s. This was when Italian migrants started opening butcheries, Italian delis and pizzerias.

As mentioned above, there are two main types of pepperoni that can be added to pizza. They are Old World style pepperoni and New World pepperoni (American style or regular pepperoni).

Both sausages are made up of cured beef and pork and mixed with an array of spices to give them their characteristic smoky flavor. Beef pepperoni is also available on the market for those traditions that do not consume pork pepperoni. Beef pepperoni is however not as juicy due to the limited amount of fat in it.

So? What are the differences if you compare the two, you may ask. Or, are there any differences at all?

What Is Old World Pepperoni

What Is Old World Pepperoni?

Old world style pepperoni is a variety that is made in the traditional Italian style. It has a close resemblance to most Italian sausages.

This Italian salami variety is usually made from a mix of ground pork and ground beef and is seasoned with a variety of different spices, including paprika, chili powder, fennel seed, mustard seed and garlic. This finely ground meat and spice mix is typically stuffed into a type of natural casing often made of sheep gut. These natural casings give it the shape of a sausage.

The resulting product is a spicy, flavorful and smoky sausage that is often used on pizza and other Italian dishes.

When you take a look at this sausage, its color is dark red, and it has an almost mahogany sheen. When cooked properly, together with other ingredients and deli meat beside them on top of bread for sandwiches or pizza bowls – you will be in for an amazing and flavorful meal.

Many people believe that old world pepperoni is the best variety of this popular sausage to add to pizza, thanks to its intense flavor and high-quality ingredients.

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian experience and a bolder flavor on your pizza, be sure to add some of it to your pizza pie or pasta dish.

Brief History

Pepperoni is a type of salami that originates from Italy. It is typically made from pork and minced beef, although turkey or lamb can also be used.


The meat is cured and then seasoned with various spices such as paprika, garlic, fennel, and chili pepper flakes.

Pepperoni is one of the most popular pizza toppings in the United States, and it is also used in other dishes such as pasta and sandwiches.

Meaning of the Word

The word pepperoni comes from the Italian word peperoni, which translates to bell peppers. Even though this sausage has nothing to do with red peppers, their names seem to be loosely related.

The first recorded use of the word pepperoni in English was in 1919.

This type of cured sausage is thought to have originated in Southern Italy, although there is no definitive evidence of this. It is possible that pepperoni was brought to the United States by Italian immigrants in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Today, it is made by many companies and is available in a variety of sizes and shapes. It can be bought fresh or dry, and it can also be found in canned form.

Pepperoni is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. It is commonly eaten as a snack, but it can also be used to flavor pizza, pasta dishes, and sandwiches.

What Is New World Pepperoni?

New world pepperoni refers to regular or American style pepperoni.

It is a variety of this popular sausage that is made in the United States. It is typically made from a mix of pork and minced beef, but can also include turkey or chicken. The seasoning blend used in this American style pepperoni is often different from that of old-world pepperoni.

The name of the company is New World Pepperoni. They are based out of Buffalo, New York, and make artisanal pepperoni products. Their products are made with fresh ingredients and no fillers.

Their pepperoni has a unique flavor that is different from traditional pepperoni. It is a bit spicy, but also slightly sweet. This makes it perfect for pizza, sandwiches, and even salads.

Old World Pepperoni vs New World Pepperoni


  • Old World pepperoni is a dry-cured sausage that is typically made with pork and beef. Regular pepperoni is a wet-cured sausage that is typically made with pork and beef.
  • When it comes to regular American style Pepperoni, you have two options: bright red or orange tones. The Old World variety of pepperoni is known for its dark colors, but newer varieties start with an almost translucent sheen which gives them a slightly different look from what most people expect in their mind’s eye when thinking about Italian cuisine.
  • The Old World Pepperoni is said to have a better taste. It is spicier and has bolder flavors than that of the New World variety and smaller when put on pizza.
  • Old World pepperoni slices are often cut thicker than regular pepperoni slices.
  • The ingredients of Old World pepperoni are typically stuffed into a natural casing whereas regular pepperoni is placed into an artificial casing.
  • Old World pepperoni also has a tougher texture and is harder to cut through when compared to New World pepperoni.
  • When Old World pepperoni is cooked, the edges tend to curl up and become crispy. This happens because natural casings shrink when it becomes hot, which then makes the edges curl. This does not happen to the artificial casing of New World pepperoni.

Old World Pepperoni vs New World Pepperoni (American Style Pepperoni)


  • The pepperoni meat is finely ground and then mixed with spices like garlic, fennel, and paprika. It is then stuffed into a casing and allowed to cure for several weeks.
  • Once cured, both pepperoni can be smoked or air-dried.
  • They come in a casing, making it easier to slice and distribute the same thickness.

Why Does Old World Pepperoni Curl Up?

Old world pepperoni edges curl up beautifully when pizza is cooked in high heat, giving it a unique look that’s hard to miss.

The lip of the pizza pan or pizza stone becomes hot enough to brown food quickly, but because it’s curling up from underneath there are some fascinating flavors emerging. The bottom part may cook more slowly than what you’re trying for, so make sure that your meats have space between them when cooking with this type of setup.

The two most important factors that make old world pepperoni curl up are the thickness and natural casing of the pepperoni.

The Thickness of The Pepperoni Slices

The bottom of the slice heats at a different rate than the top. When this happens, one side will shrink faster and pull towards its edge while another part remains stationary due to its positioning within an oven – creating that famous ‘preserved’ look.

The Casing

The natural casing made from sheep’s intestine may contribute to curled slices. The heat of the pizza oven will cause the sheep gut casing to shrink, which results in the pepperonis edges being pulled up, leaving it in the shape of a bowl or cup. This cup shape is sometimes referred to as a roni cup.

Artificial casings will not shrink with heat.

Old World Pepperoni Cooking Methods

Old World pepperoni is quite a versatile cured meat sausage that can be used in more dishes rather than just as a topping on a pizza crust.

Old World Pepperoni Pizza

Adding this sausage to baked pizza dough is the obvious way of using pepperoni. As mentioned above, it is one of the most popular pizza toppings, adding to it a rich and bold flavor. Old World pepperoni is often used in a traditional pepperoni pizza recipe.

Bread & Pasta

Due to the rich and spicy flavor of Old World pepperoni, it is great to cook together with various pastas, cheeses and toasted bread. These accompanying ingredients tend to enhance or highlight the lovely flavor profile of pepperoni. The spiciness of the pepperoni deliciously compliments the tanginess of a traditional pasta sauce.

This type of sausage is also commonly seen on sandwiches (this is commonly seen in West Virginia) or in potato salad.


Serve thinly sliced Old World pepperoni on platters as a lovely snack. Place them together with different cheeses, other cold cuts, fruits, crackers and slices of baguettes. The spiciness of the sausage and the creaminess of the cheese compliment each other beautifully.


Everybody loves a good plate of traditional nachos. Add some sliced pepperoni to your heap of tortilla chips. Add some onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes or other ingredients of your liking, top with a good amount of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until the cheese is a molten gooey goodness. Top with some black olives for extra flavor.

Pepperoni vs Salami

It is quick to assume that salami and pepperoni sausages are the same thing, and rightly so as these two meats are in close relation to one another as they are both a variety of many Italian sausages. They are in fact cousins. Their appearance is similar, and both sausages contain pork and beef. Their taste however differs.

Pepperoni has a slightly spicier taste than regular salami and pepperoni is more commonly found on pizzas whereas salami is great on sandwiches and cold meat platters.

Both meats are equally aromatic and delicious if used correctly.


There you have it, the differences between old world pepperoni and new world pepperoni. So, which type of sausage is better and which one will you choose for your next pizza? That’s really up to personal preference.

If you like a more intense flavor, then you’ll probably prefer an Old World pepperoni pizza. If you prefer a milder flavor, then New World pepperoni pizza might be more to your liking.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of pepperoni pizza you like best: American style pepperoni pizza or old world pepperoni pizza.

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