What Is Old World Pepperoni? A Must-Read For Pizza Lovers

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When you think of pepperoni, what comes to mind? For most people, the first thing to think about is the orange, oily, salty classic pepperoni found in most pizzerias. But did you know that there is another type of pepperoni that exists?

If you’ve never had the old world pepperoni, then your taste buds are missing out on some good stuff – it has a completely different flavor and texture than the classic variety.

What is old world pepperoni
Soure image : pinterest

So what is old world pepperoni? It’s made from pork or a combination of pork and beef, and this kind of sausage came from the USA by Italian immigrants.

Keep reading to learn more about this unique sausage!

The History Of Pepperoni

When mentioning the name “pepperoni”, some people misunderstand that it originated in Italy. This kind of sausage came from the USA by Italian immigrants. This term may derive from “peperone”, which means bell pepper in Italy.

Despite this explanation, it’s made from pork or a combination of pork and beef. Sometimes, the cook can substitute pork with turkey for a more Halal diet.

You can think of pepperoni as salami sausage from Southern Italy, soppressata from Calabria, or salsiccia Napoletana from Naples since they share some similarities. Yet, this Italian-American sausage comes with a softer texture and finer grain.

The pepperoni was introduced in New York City at the beginning of the 1900s by the first Italian American butchers. Interestingly, this happened to coincide with the appearance of pizza parlors, explaining why Americans put it on pizza!

What Is Old World Pepperoni?

Both originated in the US, but we separate them into “old world” and “American style”.

The most distinguishing feature between them is the edges. The rim of the old world is cooked more quickly and tends to char, while its slices curl up at the edges, resulting in a bowl shape and crispier texture with bacon notes!

As for American-style, the edges remain flat with the surface of the pizza.

When it comes to colors, regular pepperoni often comes in an orange hue, while the curl style is deep red with shades ranging from bright to dark.

Why Does It Curl?

Compared to the American style, this kind of sausage is often served in thicker slices. It means that each slide will require a significant temperature change between the top and bottom. As the top gets more heat, it contracts and pulls the edges upwards, forming the bowl shape.

But the larger cause lies in their casing. The American style often has an artificial casing from collagen.

On the other hand, the old world sausage comes in the sheep intestine, responding more rapidly to the cooking heat and creating a distinctive curl and bowl shape. The natural casings also explain why it’s more expensive than regular.

What Does It Taste Like?

Of course, old world pepperoni is different from the American style, mainly because of their different curing process.

Lactic acid is the only ingredient used in American-style to ferment the sausage. When it comes to old-world style, people add coagulase-negative cocci (also called CNC) to the mix. This bacteria slows down the curing process, allowing the sausage to develop a stronger, more complex flavor in a darker color.

The natural casings of the old world also make it a bit different. It forms a layer of mold when the sausage gets cured. But no worry, the bacteria adds more flavor and texture to the meat without causing any harm to diners.

Where To Try It

For those who want to spice up their pizza game, there is no better ingredient than the old world pepperoni. It adds an incredible flavor and texture!

So if you’re looking for some places to enjoy this flavor on your pizza, ỉt’s best to visit a pizza restaurant in New York City – the birthplace of old world pepperoni and American pizza. Simply order a “Roni Cup” pizza, then you will know exactly what it is!

You can also enjoy Pepperoni Magnifico from Marco’s pizzeria or a thin crust, old-world pizza from Plus One Pizza. They have several branches throughout the country!

Tips On Buying And Storing Old World Pepperoni

When you shop at the grocery store, it’s hard to know whether your old world favorite will taste as expected. If you want a safe bet for an authentic flavor, look for distinctive deep red-colored pieces.

This kind of sausage has a surprisingly long shelf life when freezing, so it’s easy to stock up and save yourself the hassle of running back and forth from your local grocery store.

To freeze them for later use: cut slices into pieces, divide among different bags, place in a freezer bag, then head on the freezer. It will keep everything together without having any condensation build-up on individual packages, which could cause spoilage during storage time itself-yuck.

How To Make Your Own Pizza With Old World Pepperoni?

What if you can’t find some at your local pizzeria? Well, you can always order online and add it to the pie yourself.

The easiest way? Go to Amazon and look for some Bridgford packages! They often come in 3, 4, and 6 16-ounce sticks, but you can buy them individually, too. You may also visit some local Italian delis or upscale supermarkets to pick some.

There are many ways to enjoy a pizza; either buy ready-made crusts with your favorite toppings or create one from scratch.

You can even order a whole pizza from your local pizza parlor. But this way, cook your pepperoni separately and put them on top of the pizza. Place the whole pie in the oven, and you’re going to enjoy an exceptionally delicious old world pizza on your own!

How To Prepare Your Own Old World Pepperoni?

If you’ve tried old world flavors before and want to give it a try at home, that’s fantastic! The process is pretty easy, but it takes you a lot of time since this sausage is different from your instant noodles!

All you need to prepare is your meat variants (pork or a mixture of pork and beef) and key ingredients like sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic, anise seed, red wine, saltpeter, and ascorbic acid!

You may not use some of these “strange” ingredients before. Still, in this recipe, they will reduce humidity, develop a growing environment for bacteria, and help begin the curing process.

Ground your pork and beef separately into a large bowl, then mix them with the above ingredients and spread them into a pan. Put the mixture in the fridge for at least one day at negative degrees.

Next, stuff them into casings and tie them tightly at both ends. Finally, hang them as usual and leave them to cure for several days or even weeks.

Tips For Making An Old World Pepperoni Pizza

There’s no doubt that making your own pizza from scratch is the best. However, you should note some small things to make sure it tastes perfect in every bite!

The first step in making a great pizza is to make your dough. It takes time and patience, so don’t worry if it doesn’t rise as quickly or look perfect at first! It’s important to check the recipe in advance to know how long it will take.

If you want to save time, make your dough ahead of time. Put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a week!

Preheating your oven and using a heavy surface for pizza can help give you that crisp, cracker-like base. A good option to try if you don’t have a pizza stone is an upside-down cast iron skillet or baking sheet – they both work well for your pie!

To successfully transfer your pizza from the oven to a cutting board, place some parchment paper on the surface.

Turning your oven up high is key to creating the perfect pizza. Special wood-fired pizza ovens reach temperatures around 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit, and you want yours as close to this range as possible when making it at home. The best temperature for a home oven is between 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’re good to go.

The best part of this recipe should be the old world pepperoni! And it’s necessary to pre-cook it to get that crispy pepperoni flavor on your pizza. Leave it slightly underdone so you can enjoy an extra crunchy crust.

A great way is popping up on a paper towel in your microwave for 30 sec. Finally, add it to your pizza before the final bake!

Other Uses For Old World Pepperoni

The old world pepperoni is a versatile ingredient that you can use in many dishes. Some examples include making pizza or meatballs, but we suggest some other ways!

Its flavors make it a perfect addition to any cheese board, especially if you add some fruit. You can enjoy this dish during dining al fresco time or in an indoor buffet!

It’s also a perfect appetizer for any Italian food lover. Surely you will love the taste of old world pepperoni when paired with more traditional Italian dishes like salami. A small tip is to add some olives and salad to this dish to give it extra flavor!

Another well worth trying dish is pepperoni rolls. West Virginia is home to this unique snack. At first, it appeared as a snack for coal miners, and now you can find these delicious rolls at convenience stores across all 50 states!

The soft white roll is filled with layers of meaty pepperoni inside. The fats from the sausage mix into your bread during cooking, creating an exceptionally tasty snack! To spice things up even more? Add some extra vegetables such as cheese, mushrooms, or green peppers!

The last recipe? Add some pepperoni to your next order of potato skins. The flavor combo is unbeatable!


We hope you enjoyed reading about the old world pepperoni and how it became a staple in pizza. Just keep in mind that this sausage is an interesting and unique ingredient that you can use in many different ways, not only for pizza toppings!

If you want to try something truly different from what most people are used to, give it a go! Cooking up an old world pepperoni recipe could be just the thing your family needs on New Year’s Eve.