A while back I saw a YouTube video on Genoa salami and they explained that good quality salami is rare in the United States. The people in the video were saying something like real salami is made from fat from a certain part of the pig's stomach and there is some special name for this kind of fat. The video went on to say that most American makers do not use this kind of fat because it is very expensive, so they use shortening and other cheap substitutes.

Anyway I can't find this video now and I want to know how I can recognize good quality "real" salami that has this special belly fat.

  • 2
    Maybe you mean back fat?
    – moscafj
    Jul 3, 2019 at 0:51
  • @moscafj Maybe, I could not find the video so I don't know. Jul 3, 2019 at 1:00
  • 1
    Back fat is most likely, as it is usually best for various salumi.
    – moscafj
    Jul 3, 2019 at 1:03
  • Just a comment. I am surprised to see that salame of sant'Olcese is known in the US, at least by carrying the name of the big town near the production zone. I must point out that opposite to the last paragraph in the Wikipedia article for Genoa salami, it is not true that genoese cuisine relies on pork. Indeed,even the salame of sant'olcese contains beef, too. Meantime an American Genoa salami might be pure pork, and no doubt it can be good as well. I am not American but the answer by moscafj seems the one.
    – Alchimista
    Jul 5, 2019 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


Recognizing quality entails knowing the product and the producers. Obviously you need to taste and ask questions. The correct texture and flavor of the fat used in salumi is very important, as it is generally a very high proportion of the ingredient list (30 - 50%).

In general, if you want "authentic" salumi, I would think you want to stay clear of most of the factory-made products that we find in US grocery stores. It seems that you have three options in the US.

You could purchase imported salumi from a specialty shop.

You can locate smaller scale, artisan producers. Easily done on Google by searching "US artisan cured meat" or something to that effect. There are many in the US. Most do mail order if they are not nearby. I also find even smaller, more local producers in farmers markets. These people generally will not be using sub-par ingredients.

Finally, you can learn to make your own. I've dabbled with this myself. While there are challenges and special conditions that need to be in place, it is certainly feasible if you are up for it. I will say that finding quality back fat is a real challenge for home hobbyists, like me, who aren't near a quality butcher or artisan hog operation...but there are ways of making it work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.