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Cured meats have been one of my favorite things to order at restaurants since I was a kid. I have loved their savory taste and salty flavor. In this article, I take a deeper look at the history of this food and where it came from.

Before we discuss the history of cured meat, we must learn the main three groups of this amazing snack. The first group is prosciutto which is the whole hind leg of a pig or the ham. It's a salty taste makes it a favorite of Italians. The second group is salami which is highly seasoned sausage. It has more of a tart taste than prosciutto and can sometimes be spicy. The last main group is pepperoni which is either beef or pork sausage seasoned with pepper. It is well known for being a classic pizza topping and can be used well in salads.

Although these foods are quite similar in taste, they were invented in very different eras. Prosciutto in 1963, salami in the year 19, and pepperoni in 1919. Prosciutto originated in Italy in high-class restaurants where it was only for the rich. It continues to be so expensive because it takes much effort and time to age this European delicacy. Usually, prosciutto is thinly sliced but sometimes can be cut into slightly larger chunks. It is more commonly sliced into thin pieces, though, because the cut makes it taste a little more tart.

Next is salami which is from Genoa, Italy and started out as a fermented meat dish that was brought to America by Italian natives. It was one of the first fermented meats and could stay in a pantry for several weeks on end. This made it a favorite of peasants at the time because they could buy mass quantities and store them until they were needed. It is not surprising that salami has a robust, salty taste because the Italian word ​Salame ​originates from the word ​sale ​meaning salt.

Third and finally, Pepperoni was first made in Milan, Italy and is close to salami in shape and taste. Pepperoni is usually spicier than salami, although salami can be hot as well. Another more prominent difference between the two is that pepperoni is produced with an artificial casing whereas salami has no

casing. It is so similar, in fact, that in Italy they call pepperoni ​salame piccante. ​Although pepperoni was an

entirely Italian concept that was meant to be eaten by itself, Americans enjoyed the taste of it on pizza. Pepperoni is known for being an amazing, spicy, and greasy food that is enjoyed all around the world.

After this article, I hope you have learned a great deal about cured meats. And most of all I hope that because of this article you are inclined to try this magnificent food!

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