Ever since I was a kid, salami has always been one of my favorite meats. Salty, savory, and super flavorful, it’s the perfect addition to any snack platter, sandwich, or charcuterie board.
This week, I headed to Trader Joe’s to check out their selection of salami and find one to try.
Salami Options At Trader Joe’s
My local Trader Joe’s currently stocks five different types of salami, mostly from a brand called Columbus. Their Columbus salami offerings include Peppered Salami, Italian Dry Salami, and Calabrese Salami. TJ’s also carries two of their own store-brand salamis–Uncured Salame De Parma Mild Salami and their classic Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami.
At other locations, Trader Joe’s has been known to carry a popular Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami, first introduced in 2020, as well as a less popular Pinot Grigio White Wine Artisan Salami. As of January 2023, it’s unclear whether these items were temporary, seasonal, or potentially in the queue for discontinuation as they don’t seem to be widely available.
Another super popular salami at Trader Joe’s is their seasonal Truffle Salami, typically available in October while supplies last. If you can get your hands on this one when it launches this fall, don’t skip the opportunity. It’s one of Trader Joe’s most sought after seasonal meats.
In 2021, Trader Joe’s salami came under fire when their Citterio Premium Italian Style Salami Sticks (not a TJ’s brand product) were discovered as the culprit for a salmonella outbreak across the US. Since then, Trader Joe’s has removed the product from their shelves.
To get a straight-forward feel for the quality of Trader Joe’s salami, I decided to try their Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami.
The prices of salami at Trader Joe’s range from $3.29 for a package of Columbus Calabrese Salame to $6.49 for Columbus Peppered Salame.
The TJ’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami is currently priced at $3.69 for a 4-oz package. Each package contains about twenty slices of salami.
Specialty meat prices are infamously high, so finding this salami for under $4 definitely feels like a steal. At 4 oz, it’s not the biggest container of salami on the market, but for the quality, the price still feels very reasonable.
Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami
This salami caught my eye because it’s simple, affordable, and smoked (which usually means extra flavorful). It’s actually one of the most affordable types of salami at Trader Joe’s, and it’s available all throughout the year.
As a go-to salami for sandwiches and snacks, this seems like a good staple to start with.
Nutrition and Ingredients
This salami follows a fairly traditional recipe, including white pepper, garlic, and salt as seasonings. The ingredients also include cultured celery juice powder and lactic acid starter culture, both of which are part of the meat’s fermentation process. The high salt content and fermentation are what enable salami to be eaten without being cooked.
But while much of salami’s irresistible flavor comes from its high salt content, it’s important to be aware of the health implications. Just six slices of Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami contains 540 mg of sodium which accounts for a whopping 23% of the total amount of sodium you should consume in one day. This means that if you eat the whole container at once, you will probably want to avoid eating anything else salty for the rest of the day.
Eating excessive amounts of sodium on a regular basis can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke, according to a report from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami also contains 4 grams of saturated fat per serving (11 grams of fat total) as well as 40 mg of cholesterol per serving. Clearly, this delicious meat isn’t the healthiest food in the world, but salami in general should not be considered a healthy food.
On the bright side, this salami contains a negligible amount of sugar, plus 10 grams of protein per serving. This salami is also gluten free, free of added nitrites and nitrates, and made with pork raised on a vegetarian diet with zero added hormones or antibiotics.
As far as salami goes, Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami is higher quality and made with cleaner ingredients than many other supermarket options.
The Taste Test
To get an honest opinion on the taste of this salami, I started out by trying a piece on its own straight out of the package.
As a big fan of salami and someone who’s tried many different types over the years, I can confidently say that Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Salami is delicious, flavorful, and super satisfying. It has the perfect solid and chewy texture and just the right amount of salt and seasoning for my liking.
Honestly, I have zero complaints about this salami for what it is. The only thing that would make me love it more would be if it was certified organic. But unfortunately, Trader Joe’s offers very few organic meat options.
I ended up combining this salami with a few other ingredients to make a snack plate. I broke up some pieces of Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Norwegian Crispbread, then topped them with a spoonful of Trader Joe’s Organic Chunky Homestyle Guacamole. Finally, I topped each one with half a piece of salami and then sprinkled it with some Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning Blend.
All together, it made for a delicious and satisfying snack. I would definitely purchase this salami again, especially for the price.
(The crackers on the right side of the plate are topped with Trader Joe’s Cream Cheese and Foppen Norwegian Smoked Salmon from Costco. In my opinion, the salami and guacamole combo was the winning choice.)