A little bit of Italy in every mouthful
Italy is a country steeped in history and tradition. One of those traditions was that the family would keep a pig. When it came time, this pig would be cured and every part of it would be used to provide the family with food throughout the year. In Italian kitchens or cantinas you would find a range of home-cured sausages, salami and prosciutto hanging from the ceiling.
The word Salame originates from the word “sale” (salt) and “ame” originally meaning all kinds of meat, thus all kinds of salt meats. The word Salame later changed to mean only the salted and spiced minced meat which was filled into a casing, usually an animal intestine, then cured, fermented and air-dried for several weeks or months.
The word Salami is the plural of Salame meaning more than one.
The word Salumi is used to describe lots of different types of salted cured meats. Salumi can be Prosciutto, Coppa, Pancetta, Mortadella, Sausages, Cotechino as well as Salami; Salame is a type of Salumi.
These cured meats, salumi, would be served either as an antipasto before a meal or used as an essential part of the primo or secondo piatto (entrée or main course). Wherever you travel in Italy, you will find regional variations on the same theme. A traditional Tuscan antipasto will consist of a selection of thinly sliced affettati, cheese and pickled vegetables.