Last Updated on by San San
For various reasons, following through with a healthy diet goes a long way for people who have their future in mind. Of course, everyone has their share of guilty food pleasures, but when it all boils down to matters of health, people will always be ready to give up favourites – some, even if it stresses them out.
In this article, we find out what we’re losing when we choose to give up or keep salami in our diets. To start it off, how many calories are in a slice of salami?
How Many Calories in a Slice of Salami
What is salami? Salamis is one of the oldest sausage dishes with thousands of years of history. Some sources even suggest that salami goes back as far as ancient Rome. So why did the tradition of making salami last a very long time? Is it special?
Typically consisting of fermented or air-dried pork or beef, salami is a favourite among sailors. The usual way of storing meat is not ideal in times past since it can get spoiled easily. So what sailors do instead is to ferment or air-dry the meat to make them last longer, especially on long voyages. You can now see why the tradition of making salami started.
Another historical fact is that Salami is popular among European peasants. Once cut, salami won’t spoil for 40 days, making it the ideal meat during the long months of winter. Different countries across Europe have their versions of salami.
The English word salami comes from the Italian word salame. Salame is singular or plural and is the word used for describing cured meats in Europe.
Salami Taste and Texture
The taste of salami is tricky to define, so let’s take a look at what salami enthusiasts say. Enthusiasts say that salami is savoury and sweet, and depending on the variety, salami can be spicy. Descriptions do not give justice to how salami tastes. However, no doubt eating salami leaves a satisfying sensation on your tongue.
So what gives the salami its unique tastes? Salami offers varied tastes depending on which ingredients. For the most part, however, the basic ingredients are the same. Basic ingredients consist of salt, pork or beef, fat, and saltpetre.
Now saltpetre is the old term for potassium nitrate. Of all the ingredients, it’s the saltpetre that acts as the preservative. Saltpetre also enhances the flavour of the meat by a process called curing. Curing is what provides the distinct taste of salami.
One misconception about salami is that it is considered raw meat. Salami is not raw meat, as previously stated, but salami has undergone a curing process. In short, you can eat salami as it is.
However, you might find in stores that there is uncured and cured salami. So what’s uncured and cured salami? Like cured salami, uncured salami does not need to be cooked also. Curing is the process of adding salt or nitrates to help preserve the meat.
So why the different labels? Same as cured salami, uncured salami also has undergone a curing process. But the difference is that uncured salami uses natural nitrate, whereas cured salami uses synthetic nitrate. You can find nitrate in different green plants.
If you prefer, you can also choose to cook salami. You can add salami to several dishes. Add salami to sandwiches, salads, pasta, and pizzas. Enhance the salami’s flavour even further by frying it in the pan until it turns crisp and brown.
Varieties of Salami
Here are some of the most common varieties of salami:
- Genoa: Genoa is a salami traditionally made with pork, veal, and sometimes beef. Garlic, pepper, and red wine are what sets Genoa apart from other salami. Together, they offer an acidic flavour and are very soft on the mouth.
- Pepperoni: Pepperonis is probably the most well-known salami in the market. Pepperoni is one of the new varieties and is an Italian-American cuisine. Made out of pork and beef, but sometimes turkey is used. Pepperoni has a soft texture and a smoky flavour. Although it is not as versatile as other salami, it is nevertheless a popular pizza topping.
- Soppressata: This salami is all-pork and is popular in many regions of Italy. It offers a higher fat content than other salami and is much more flavorful too. The texture can feel coarse, and it’s slightly chewy also.
- Napoletano: If you are looking for something expensive and refined, look no further. Napoletano salami is one of the high-end salami in the market. It boasts of being the top seller of sausage in Italy. Ageing this salami takes 1-6 months. It is deep red and offers a spicy flavour due to the spices added to it.
- Hungarian Salami: As the name suggests, this variety came from the land of Hungary. Just like any other salami, this one uses pork, but not just any pork. Hungarian domestic pork called Mangalitsa or Mangalica is the main ingredient. The curing process is unique. Curing this salami involves placing it in the cold, damp air so that moulds grow on it. Moulds help preserve the meat.
European salami is far more flavorful than its American-made counterparts. Is it worth the purchase? Although it is more costly, I’d say it’s worth the buy. As soon as you put authentic European salami into your mouth, I promise you won’t regret the purchase.
Is Salami Healthy?
Salami is certainly delicious, but is it healthy? Unfortunately, it’s not healthy. Although there are some nutrients packed in a salami, its downsides outweigh the benefits. A serving of salami will give you plenty of selenium, an antioxidant that fights against free radicals.
Salami has plenty of sodium in it. While sodium is important to the body, an excess of sodium is harmful. According to the research, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure.
Salami Calorie Content
So, how many calories are in a slice of salami? There are 110 calories per slice of salami. The numbers may not seem much, but remember, that’s just one slice. No one can feel satisfied by eating just one slice, so make sure to limit eating salami.
To burn those calories away, consider doing cardio exercises. Not only will cardio exercise burn away the fat, but it will also benefit your health. Cardio is known to lower the risks of chronic illnesses and give you a better mood.
Feel free to indulge yourself with salami occasionally. However, for those that have chronic illnesses, consult a doctor first before eating salami too much since some variants actually do have more unhealthy ingredients in them, even the ‘organically’ claimed salami.