Author Topic: Favorite Pepperoni  (Read 59742 times)

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Offline Giovanni

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Favorite Pepperoni
« on: September 08, 2004, 03:14:55 PM »
I've read through many threads and could not find any discussion on favorite brands of Pepperoni. I've tried Hormel, Bonita, and Eckridge Farms. None of them really impressed me. What do you guys prefer to use?


Online Pete-zza

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2004, 04:15:37 PM »
Giovanni,

I buy whatever is locally available in the supermarkets--brands such as Hormel and Bridgford (in the Dallas area).   Another thing I do when I travel to major cities that have big Italian sections, such as San Francisco, New York (Little Italy) or Boston (North End), is to go into one of the Italian food stores and buy the stick pepperoni.  It is often locally made and travels well since it is made of cured meats.  I just slice it thinly for use on pizzas.  A lot of places also sell pepperoni online, which is another option you might consider.  

Hormel and Patrick Cudahy brands are also used by professional pizza makers.  But the best brand from a quality standpoint is said to be the Ezzo pepperoni (http://www.ezzo.com).  It is a very small company in Ohio and unfortunately does not sell at the retail level (it sells mostly to mom and pop outfits and small chains).  However, if you are near one of its distributors (Ezzo can provide names), you may be able to buy from the distributor.  I am told that the minimum size order is 10 pounds.  You would need a lot of friends to go through that amount of pepperoni ;D.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 02:49:33 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Giovanni

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2004, 04:52:50 PM »
Maybe I'll pick up one of those sticks of Hormel i see at the market. To me it seems the pre-sliced Hormel lacks in flavor but it's my favorite so far.

Offline Randy

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2004, 11:25:42 PM »
I prefer Wilsons.

Randy

Offline Giovanni

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 09:24:51 AM »
I just picked up a 2 foot stick of Hormel at the store. Hopefully it will taste better than the pre-sliced.

Randy:

Where do you get Wilsons? I've never seen it locally.

Offline Steve

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2004, 09:33:41 AM »
When I was a kid, I remember one particular pizza reataurant that used pepperoni that was about the same diameter as a quarter. These little pepperonis would cup when cooked and the rim/edge of the pepperoni would burn ever so slightly. It was the best tasting pepperoni that I can remember.
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Offline giotto

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2004, 11:36:07 AM »
Giovanni:  Great point and welcome aboard.  

For me, pizza without pepperoni is almost as bad as going to the movie theater and not having popcorn.  It's the #1 topping; yet in many instances, we're expected to resort to the likes of Hormel to accomodate our aged pecorino, Italian Prosciutto or other special toppings.

Even when I do have prosciutto, greens or other toppings, pepperoni the size of a fist will likely still be found on my pizza.  I'll never forget how good it looked when I stopped by Chez Joey as I headed upstate in NY.  I get it locally though under a market's own brand, and 8 of these babies fill a 15" pizza.  Small & crispy pepperoni is a real treat too, as well as slightly spicy.  Small meat markets are a good choice.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 11:41:46 AM by giotto »

Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2004, 11:47:56 AM »
Steve:
 I too remember those little pieces of pepperoni, minurature little bowls that would fill up with the grease from the pepperoni. MMMMMMMM

The only place that I have ever seen them since I was younger is on a frozen pizza.
Not just any frozen pizza. But the one that looks very appealing on the box(as many do) and is some of the nastiest crap packaged and sold.

RED BARON

Honestly I did not mind these many many years ago when they first came out but, I think they changed there recipe over ten years ago to increase profits. But the pepperonis are the same crispy little bowels.
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

Online Pete-zza

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2004, 02:12:16 PM »
I learned a while back that the best pepperoni is made by encasing meats within a special edible collagen casing.  When the slices of pepperoni cook--as on a pizza--the heat causes the casing surrounding each pepperoni slice to shrink and cup up (this is often referred to as "cup and char").  This, in turn, causes the fat released from each slice of pepperoni to sit within the "cup" so that it doesn't run over the top of the pizza.  This is also supposed to keep the pepperoni slices in place and minimize sliding of the pepperoni slices over a molten sea of cheese as the pizza bakes.  The Ezzo pepperoni is an especially lean product compared with competitors' products and is said to be very good for staying in place on the pizza.   Apparently not all pepperoni is made to have the collagen casing that produces the cupping effect.  It has to be designed that way.

I personally like the cupped pepperoni but not everyone wants all the fat that goes along with pepperoni.  In fact, in Peter Reinhart's book American Pie he recommends (at page 166) that pepperoni be sauteed or boiled in advance of using it on pizzas to release some of the fat.  

I noticed today while I was at the deli counter of the  supermarket that pepperoni also comes in a sandwich size slices--about 3 or 4 inches in diameter.  When I asked the gal behind the counter who the supplier is, she said Hormel.  There's no reason I can think of why the  sandwich-size pepperoni slices shouldn't be used on pizzas, but from the looks of the slices I saw today I don't think you would get the cupping effect.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 07:18:17 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2004, 03:12:38 PM »
I happened to remember another very good brand of pepperoni--one that I used many times on pizzas while I was in the Northeast part of the country.  It is called Margherita.  Until I did some online searching today, I didn't know that the Margherita pepperoni is made by Patrick Cudahy, one of the better known suppliers to professional pizza makers.  The Margherita pepperoni comes in stick form, in regular and spicy (hot).  I know for certain that it is available in retail outlets in the Northeast part of the country, and I suspect that it is offered elsewhere also.  I have also seen it offered at several places over the Internet.  

When I looked at the PennMac product list that was recently sent to me, I saw that the Margherita pepperoni is offered for sale at PennMac.  The Margherita brand is also listed at the PennMac website at pennmac.com, but I believe it is the regular not the spicy.  I also saw from the product list that the Ezzo brand, considered by many professionals to be the best from a quality standpoint (with a casing that causes cupping), is also available at PennMac but I wasn't able to reach anybody today at PennMac to see what the minimum amount is that one would have to purchase.  If it is small, I would want to try some for sure.   I plan to follow up on this over the next few days.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 03:21:55 PM by Pete-zza »


Offline Giovanni

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2004, 04:38:21 PM »
Peter:

Definitely let us know what you find out from PennMac on both brands. I would be willing to purchase both if the price is reasonable. It would be interesting to put all 3 brands on a single pizza and do a head to head comparison.

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2004, 05:54:11 PM »
Giovanni,

I will let everyone know what I find out.  However, I suspect that the quantities will be large, particularly for the Ezzo brand.  When I went to the Ezzo website, all I saw was slices, not sticks.  Since they don't sell at the retail level, I can't imagine their packing the pepperoni in small packages.  The Margherita pepperoni, however, is sold in stick form.  It is also sold in slices, in large packages, judging from the product list.

When I spoke to the gal at Ezzo the other day, she said that they don't sell to the big pizza outfits, like Domino's or Pizza Hut.   She said they were a small company.  So it is unlikely that you can go to one of the big guys to buy a pound or so of the pepperoni slices.  I'm guessing that the big pizza companies buy from Hormel, Cudahy and maybe a few mid-sized companies that can supply in volume and with consistent quality.  

Peter
« Last Edit: September 09, 2004, 07:21:45 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline DKM

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2004, 10:37:24 AM »
I would like to say a get a stick from an itialian market.... :)

But I can't  :'(

I use Hormel most of the time and sometimes buy some for a pizza place where I know the owner.
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Offline Randy

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2004, 10:43:46 AM »
We ran across Wilson's at Wal-mart when we were trying to find a better tasting pepperoni.

Randy

Offline mama mia

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2004, 02:24:04 PM »
I only use turkey pepperoni, I don't care to eat any pork, and the turkey is a great option. it kicks my pepperoni cravings  ;D

Offline DKM

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2004, 02:55:40 PM »
I think I bought Wilson once, but I don't remember it being any beter or worse.

DKM
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Offline giotto

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2004, 10:02:05 PM »
Regarding that small pepperoni, which cups just so... with crispy sides... acting like a small holder of precious oils

(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/bowl-pepperoni3.jpg)


Tried 2 types.  Same manufacturer (Molinari & Sons):
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pepperoni-mfg.jpg)

Here's the first (about 3" round)
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pepperoni-4in.jpg)

The second is just called pepperoni.  They all come tied together, smaller (5" long each), stronger in taste, a real juicy snack.  I see this style in small Delis throughout the US. I got 7 of these at an outdoor farmer's market for $7, and used one for the pizza.
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/pepperoni-3in.jpg)

The larger one actually will give you a double cup (bottom right), whereas the smaller one is the normal single cup (bottom left):
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/bowl-pepperoni2.jpg)

It's like Pete-zza said, it seems to be all in the thin wrapping.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2004, 10:04:21 PM by giotto »

Offline Steve

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2004, 08:00:32 AM »
You're making me hungry!!!!  ;D
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Offline Giovanni

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2004, 10:30:19 AM »
I made a pie this weekend and used the stick of hormel. There was not much difference in taste between the stick and the pre-sliced. The only difference was that the stick has the casing on the outside which did cause a slight bit of cupping but not as much as with the smaller diameter ones from the above pcitures. I found that it was almost impossible to take a 'bite' out of the peperonni with the casing on it. I ended up just peeling off the casing so i could eat it like normal.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2004, 10:32:34 AM by Giovanni »

Offline giotto

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Re:Favorite Pepperoni
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2004, 02:19:28 PM »
Giovanni:

Interesting.  Good to know that they are not all the same.  The casings on these are very thin, and result in a crispy outside.  If you cut them too thick, you get a charred rather than crispy taste.  Otherwise, the casings are transparent.  I've tried cooking them on a grill and they cup upside down, giving the same results in a minute or two.  It will be interesting to see what other Delis carry.