Today is the day dedicated to the consumption of one of our personal preferences. It’s National Pepperoni Pizza Day! Whether you pick American, Meat Amore, Deluxe or even single topping — Sipipa has some of the best pepperoni pizza in Houston.
Served on more than one-third of U.S. pizza orders, pepperoni is America’s favorite pizza topping. Americans annually consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni on 36% of all pizzas produced nationally, and in another survey, only 1 in 50 people said they hate pepperoni. That is impressive — it’s hard to get 98% of people to agree on anything! Also:
- 3% of people in the survey claimed they’d rather eat a pizza than have a significant other.
- 1/3 of people chow down on pizza at least once a week.
- 22% said they can eat a whole pizza by themselves!
What is Pepperoni?
Pepperoni is a distinctly American version of salami. It’s made from mixing cured pork and beef, and seasoned with paprika or other chili pepper for a slightly smoky flavor. Turkey is sometimes substituted in, but it must be labeled as such. Pepperoni is often bright red, thin-sliced and characteristically soft.
The word “pepperoni” comes for the Italian peperoni, which means bell peppers. The first known use of that word to refer to a sausage dates to 1919. And while the Italian word is plural (similar to the Italian word salami, plural of “salame”), the English word “pepperoni” is a singular noun. It’s also worth noting that in Italian, the diminutive word “pepperoncino” refers to both hot, spicy peppers and sweet peppers.
Pepperoni is similar to the cured dry sausage and spicy salamis of southern Italy. “Salsiccia Napoletana piccante,” a spicy dry sausage from Naples, or a soppressata from Calabria, are both good examples. However, pepperoni is usually softer, it has a finer grain, and it is produced with an artificial casing, whereas Italian salami, which is made of pure pork, uses a natural gut casing. The curing process contributes to pepperoni’s reddish color.
Also, most American pepperoni is mass-produced to meet the demand.
Pepperoni is commonly sold in two sizes: an inch in diameter for pizza, and up to three inches across for sandwiches. You can buy it whole, chopped or pre-sliced at a deli counter, but it’s also found as snack food in everything from Lunchables or small packages sold at convenience stores. Finally, pepperoni has a tendency to curl up from the edges from the heat of a pizza oven.