Genoa salami is a variety of salami commonly believed to have originated in the area of Genoa, Italy.
Commonly, Genoa salami is a pork salami, although some producers mix in beef and veal as well. In addition to the loosely chopped pork, Genoa salami also includes garlic, salt, fennel seeds, whole peppercorns, and a small amount of white wine. The peppercorns create explosions of spice in the finished product, making Genoa salami a rather zesty food to eat. By tradition, white peppercorns are usually used in Genoa salami, with black peppercorns studding cotto salami.
Salami is made by chopping meat and spices and stuffing them into a casing. The resulting meat is cured, usually through a process of drying and smoking. Once cured, a salami can be stored at room temperature until it is cut open. The curing technique ensures that meat is available year round.
Several things distinguish salami from other cured stuffed meats. The meat in salami tends to be coarsely cut, so large chunks of meat and fat are present in the finished product. In addition, the dry cure used to preserve salami results in a very dry meat which is also slightly crumbly. Salami also tends to be more spicy than some cured meats, and it may have a slightly fermented flavor, depending on how it was handled and cured.