What does it mean for pepperoni to be in natural casing?

I'm trying to find out more about the different types and brands of pepperoni out there and keep finding pepperoni that's in natural casing. How does this differ from the regular variety?

Mark H.
posted about 5 years ago

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Hey Mark,

Natural casing pepperoni is a dry-cured sausage. Pork, beef and spices are stuffed into a hog casing and cured for 8-12 days depending upon the diameter and room temperature.

The term natural casing is used as opposed to an artificial casing pepperoni which is a man-made fibrous product that performs just like a natural intestine.

The industry has changed a bit, and to make a natural casing pepperoni currently is a bit cost prohibitive. Pepperoni sticks can't be made long enough to be profitable (because short sticks produce too many ends), and the intestine tends to break more with modern stuffing machinery. So the industry makes a casing out of natural material rather than fibrous that holds up better and can be made into longer sticks and of course can be consumed.

Artificial casing can not be eaten, and must be removed before the product is sliced. Natural casing is left on the stick after dry curing as the pepperoni is being sliced. With the casing left on each slice of pepperoni, the casing is the first thing to shrink so it pulls up the sides of the pepperoni, causing it to cup.

Cupping pepperoni chars and crisps more than flat-laying pepperoni, and is preferred by most.

I hope that his answers your questions...

Frankie G

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Frankie G
posted about 5 years ago

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