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John - I believe it is because the pepperoni contains sodium nitrite and other additives, whereas the other products do not.John
Did the list of ingredients in the "no nitrite / nitrate" pepperoni contain celery powder or celery juice? If so, then that is the source of the nitrates in the pepperoni that are necessary to prevent the proliferation of Clostridium botulinum during the curing process. A pepperoni or other dry-cured sausage made with no source of nitrate may not be safe to eat. The nitrate is probably there in most of those "no nitrite / nitrate added" products. It's just coming from natural vegetable sources rather than from a curing salt that has nitrite or nitrate added to it.