Salumi or Salami? What is the difference?
When we are talking Salami there are a few terms that can be confusing. So here it is!
Firstly, the term salumi (sah-loo-mee) derives from the latin 'sal'- meaning salt and 'umi'- all things meat. Salumi - salted meats.
The term Salumi is given to all types of salted and cured meats that being whole muscles cuts to individual cured salame chubs or sticks.
We generally think about pork products but it also refers to other products like Bresaola which is made from beef.
You could say the term Salumi refers to the entire family of cured meats. (Salume is the singular form of the word, generally we always use the plural, Salumi).
Salumi also specifically refers to whole muscle cuts like prosciutto, capocollo, lonza, lardo, pancetta, culatello and guanciale to name a few.
Salami refers to dried cured sausages (minced pork, combined with other ingredients herbs, wine etc, enclosed in a casing). The singular form of Salami is Salame.
It all sounds very similar but hopefully this explains the difference.
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what terminology we use as long as what we are buying and eating is coming from a well treated animal and that the salumi has been made with traditional technique, leaving out unnecessary preservatives and additives.
There are good products out there on the market made with care by artisans, best leave the mass produced ones alone. Once you try real salumi you won't want to buy the pre-packaged stuff off a shelf!
After all, traditions dating back over 2000 years should be done right or best left alone.