Thursday, July 23, 2020

Cheap Bacon or Salami Crisps

To die for! Great with eggs. Pile it on a BLT! Scatter on a salad. 

As a child, I never really cared for a salami sandwich. It was "chewy." I loved the taste, but not the texture.

It was not until I was a retired adult working in a deli that I understand the science of salami. It was really quite simple. To fully appreciate its taste, it is paramount to slice it paper thin. No, I take that back. Paper is too thick. Think Saran-wrap or cling-film thin.

I learned this from New York Italians. And I've never looked back. I have one customer who insists that her salami be shaved! Do you know how long it takes to shave one pound of salami? I love Genoa salami. Sliced thin, it almost melts in your mouth.

The other morning, while preparing my customary day-off breakfast of two fried eggs and toast, I set out the salami on the counter as I rummaged the fridge looking for some melon.

While my pan was heating, I spied the salami. "What the heck," I thought. I threw in two paper-thin slices and stared at the miraculous alchemy.

The round disks immediately shrunk before my eyes and began to bubble and crisp. I quickly flipped them and wow! It almost sounded like popcorn as the second side immediately crisped to a lacy brown. I removed them to paper towel to drain. There was not much grease in the pan. After about a minute or two, the disks cooled to a delicate potato-chip crispness that literally melted in my mouth.  I was blown away. And the taste was better than any bacon I had ever tried. 

I did several more batches. It was astounding.

Fried salami is several times cheaper than bacon. It fries much faster. And it is cleaner with less grease.

Why Genoa? It has peppercorns in it and bit more spices.


  • Paper-thin slices Genoa salami.
  • Non-stick pan.
  • Paper towel. 

Turn on your vent fan. Heat a non-stick pan on high. Lightly place thin slices of salami into pan. They will immediately sizzle and shrink. After about 30 seconds, they will begin to turn brown on the edges. Flip. The tiny white pieces of fat will "pop" like popcorn. When brown, about another 30-40 seconds, remove to paper towel to drain. It all happens very fast, so DO NOT WALK AWAY from the pan.

If making a large batch, place the crisps on a baking tray and pop into a 150-200 degree oven to keep warm and crisp.

For subsequent batches, you may need to turn down the heat a bit.

Like bacon, I would guess one could also "bake" it in the oven. But fried is much quicker and more fun to watch as it immediately transforms itself into bacon. Feel free to experiment with your own thicknesses.