What Makes a Great Sliced Salami?

Cheese and crackers topped with salami are great appetizers that can be served anytime! The leading aroma and flavor intensity in a high quality sliced salami should be pork. The pork should be supported by other black pepper, mustard and garlic seasoning notes and also include brine and vinegar notes to result in a “cured” aroma and flavor. A smoke note may also be present. The salami should not smell or taste like lunchmeat. The texture is also important to quality and should include a meaty chew, a fatty mouth coating, minimal gristle and a moderately long dissolve. There may be some pepper heat.

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Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor intensity

    A measurement of the strength of a flavor in a particular food. Example: High-quality chocolate will have high cocoa flavor intensity.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • chew

    The texture of a food as it is being chewed, as opposed to the texture of the first bite. Example: High-quality beef jerky should be tender but have a long chew.

  • gristle

    Tough cartilaginous, tendinous or fibrous matter, especially in table meats.

  • heat

    The intensity of spiciness or the perceived warmth of food in the mouth. Example: Hot sauce has a distinct flavor, but it also possesses a heat component that warms the mouth.