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Is there difference between Saucisson Sec and Salami?

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Just to get the obvious answer out of the way, one is a French cured sausage and the other is an Italian. It will be interesting to hear if anyone knows of traditional differences in preparation and ingredients between the two. –  Chris Steinbach Aug 9 '10 at 21:29
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6 Answers 6

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's a difference between the title (is a sausiccon a type of salami), and the body (is there a difference).

The first is a question of classification, and no, a saucisson is type of cured sausage, but you'd want "saucisson sec" (dry sausage) for a dried, cured sausage with good storage characteristics like salami. So the relation is the other way around -- a salami is a type of saucisson.

"Differences" when you're dealing with general classifications such as this tend to be a question of if there are items that might fit into one category, but not the other. It's pretty obvious that salami is a narrower term than sausiccon, but I'm not sure if salami and sausiccon sec are just different names for the same concept, or if there might be items in one class that wouldn't fall into the other.

update : would sweet bologna be considered a saucisson sec ? It's only semi-dried, so I wouldn't classify it as a salami due to storage characteristics.

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I admit, I'm not French (and only part Basque), so I don't hear the term "saucisson" used; we might need a French person to weigh in on how the term is used; it might be like "chorizo" in that there's many different regional variations of it but a few defining characteristics that might not suffice with a simple translation. –  Joe Aug 10 '10 at 2:14
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Saucisse is any little sausage, fresh or dried. Saucisse seche is the term used when it's dried. Saucisson is any sausage that's air dried and cured -Salami is cured sausage, fermented and air-dried meat. So is it a Salami, semantics probable because the French don't want to call it a Salami.

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As saucisson is defined as "a large, cured French sausage of ground pork flavored with garlic", then a saucisson is not a salami; salami is not usually flavored with garlic, and it's not only made with ground pork.

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I do not think Saucisson need necessarily be of pork. I have eaten donkey and horse sausages which were refered to as "saucisson de cheval" (horse) and "saucisson de ane" (donkey).

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Saucisson sec might be used to call all the dried sausages. Salami is a dried sausage so it might be a saucisson sec. However, it is generally used to designate different recipes.

The difference can come from the size of the grounded meat, the seasoning or even the casing. As an example, Rhulman and Polcyn are providing a recipe for salami (heavily seasoned) and saucisson sec (lightly seasoned).

Also, salami or pepperoni are usually made of fine grounded meat which gives an homogeneous look to the stuffing while other dried sausages like rosette de Lyon or saucisson de ménage are more heterogenous looking. Salami is generally associated with bigger casings than saucissons secs. The size of the casing might not only affect the look but also the taste as a bigger casing necessitate longer drying.

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Nice thorough answer. –  hobodave Aug 10 '10 at 16:00
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Saucisson sec and salami are dry cured sausages. Salamis tend to have gone through a incubation period which gives the sausage an acidic taste, which also protects the meat from spoiling. Saucisson sec has no incubation period. Both sausages should be further protected by Nitrates and Nitrites to inhibit Botulism.

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