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The History of Genoa Salami

Rosie’s Sidekick Sandwich Shop loves using Genoa salami. Here’s how it came to be.

Genoa salami, also known simply as Genoa, is a variety of salami commonly attributed to the Italian port city of Genoa in the Liguria region. This cured sausage is part of the rich culinary tradition of Italy, reflecting centuries of artisanal food crafting and regional flavor profiles. The history of Genoa salami intertwines with the broader history of salami in Italy, which dates back to ancient times.

The Al Pacino Sub The history of Genoa Salami

Ancient Origins

The practice of curing meats, including salami, has ancient origins, dating back to the Roman Empire and possibly earlier. Ancient peoples needed methods to preserve meats for long periods, especially in the absence of refrigeration. They discovered that salting and air-drying meat not only preserved it but also enhanced its flavor. The word “salami” is derived from the Italian “salare,” meaning “to salt,” underscoring the importance of this process.

Middle Ages to Renaissance

By the Middle Ages, various regions across Italy had begun to develop their own distinct types of cured meats, influenced by local climates, ingredients, and tastes. These traditions continued to evolve through the Renaissance period, leading to a rich diversity of salami varieties across Italy, including Genoa.

Genoa Salami Characteristics

Genoa salami is distinguished by its fine-ground pork, higher fat content, and the inclusion of garlic and wine in its seasoning, which contributes to its unique taste and aroma. Unlike some other salami types, which might use a mix of meats, Genoa salami typically relies on pork. The aging process, which can last several months, allows it to develop a tender texture and a complex flavor profile.

Global Spread

The popularity of Genoa salami, along with other Italian cured meats, began to spread beyond Italy’s borders in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially with the waves of Italian immigrants moving to the Americas and other parts of the world. These immigrants brought their food traditions with them, establishing Italian delicatessens and food shops that featured items like Genoa salami.

This is one of the foods that Freddy’s dad, Joe, always had in his bakery. It’s something that Freddy grew up having! When other kids were bringing cheese sandwiches or PB&Js to school for lunch, he was bringing salami and provolone sandwiches! His love of great cured meats has continued to grow. You’ll find it in several of the sandwiches at Rosie’s Sidekick Sandwich Shop.

Rosie’s Sidekick Sandwich Shop & Catering is located in Chicago in the Logan Square neighborhood. 2610 N California Ave 773-697-3000. Our newest location is in Schaumburg in the D. R. Horton building. 1750 E Golf Rd 1st floor 847-648-7098

For more information about Rosie’s Sidekick Sandwich Shop & Catering in Logan Square or Schaumburg or to order online, go to

Fred Pecoraro

Author Fred Pecoraro

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