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So Much Love

Oh, pepperoni. You are the most loved of pizza toppings. In fact, according to Convenience Store Decisions, Americans consume more than 250 million pounds of pepperoni annually, on 36% of all pizza produced nationally! The prima donna of pizza toppings started to grace pizzas in 1919. And so popular, we have a national pepperoni pizza day celebrated every Sept. 20 in the United States. 

And you might be asking yourself, how many different kinds of pepperoni are there? Well let Wiseguy tell ya- it’s not an easy answer. Turns out pepperoni has different classifications and has been modified for diets and cultural preferences. We knew it was special, right? Here’s a little Wiseguy Pizza Pie University crash course!

How it’s prepared

While the flat, thinly sliced pepperoni is the most commonly used type on pizza, it does come in other forms. It can be found in the shape of cubes, sticks, and another type known as cup-n-char. It forms the shape of a cup with a distinct lip when subjected to heat and then appears slightly charred. 


Seasonings include paprika, garlic, and other herbs and spices. After the meat is stuffed into cases, the sausages are aged for a few days, smoked, and dried. Mild fermentation ensures a tangy flavor, causing extra moisture to evaporate and the pepperoni to solidify.

Pork pepperoni is probably the most popular ingredient. It’s also the one Wiseguy Pizza Pie prefers to use at all of our restaurants. Sometimes, pork is combined with beef. 

Some are 100% beef. This is great for people who can’t consume pork. Turkey-based pepperoni mimics the original pork variety quite well- just with fewer calories and fats. Venison is another low-saturated fat option. It’s high in protein and essential amino acids. Some might find the flavor a bit stronger than the typical meats used, but it does make for a healthier version when made into pepperoni.

Gluten-free, plant-based, and low-sodium pepperonis are also great alternatives for those with certain diet restrictions. 

Cultural influences

Hala, Haram, and Kosher pepperonis are also available for different religions and cultures. 

Pepperoni fun facts

  • The bright red color you see in pepperoni comes from paprika.
  • The pepperoni pizza was among the first things to be ordered on the internet in 1994.
  • 2% of Americans hate pizza… Wiseguy loves a challenge…

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