The menu has widened over a little as the Margherita was originally topped with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil. The famous flatbread pie has even made it all the way from its home in Italy into the exotic Hawaii, which lent its increasingly popular combination of sweet pineapple and salty ham.
What choice consistently makes the top of the listing in america? These savory bites are the default topping in an American slice. However, they didn’t take their existing place of dominance until after World War II, and they weren’t even heard of as an alternative when pizza first made its debut in the USA in the late 18th century.
Due to its title and notable association with the Italian based food, many assume that pepperoni originated there, also. But in fact, it is a wholly American creation. First mentioned in print in 1919, this variation on the Italian types of salami has a different fine-grained texture and spicy, slightly smoky flavor. Its vibrant red color comes from the paprika and cayenne usually present in the recipe.
The title for the cured meat is actually thought to be a corruption of the Italian word for bell peppers,”peperoni,” which sounds quite similar but results in a really different plate. Imagine the surprise of English speakers who attempt to order a slice and receive a layer of sliced peppers rather than the pepperonis they were anticipating. Italians do shirt some pizza with unique types of salami, but there is nothing that quite matches the specific style of our pepperoni.
The processing of this kind of meat has been modified from the original rustic design to accommodate mass production, including use of nitrates and artificial casings. This has caused a few connoisseurs of Italian meats to look down on it as a kind of mongrel salami, but that has not stopped the U.S. from choosing it on approximately 40 percent of our pizza orders.
Large, well-known brands such as Hormel sell enormous amounts of the product each year, but there’s also a growing movement of butchers and curers looking to produce their own recipes using less preservatives and locally sourced ingredients. Salami and other sausage kinds such as the spicier soppressata are making their way into pizzerias throughout the country, but American chefs are discovering new ways to integrate pepperoni into recipes beyond the traditional topping or sandwich meat.