Taste test: the best British salami, tried and tasted

British charcuterie
Scottish salami with wild venison and green peppercorns made by Great Glen Charcuterie Credit: John Paul Photography 

British Charcuterie Live takes place at Borough Market in London today – an event that celebrates all things meaty, from air-dried ham to salty salami.

The word salami comes from the Italian salare, to salt, and the finely sliced cured meat, traditionally made with pork or wild boar (but sometimes also beef, lamb, or venison), continues to carry continental connotations today – served on a table with fresh bread, cheese and vine-ripened tomatoes, shaded from the Mediterranean sun under the shade of an olive tree…

But you might just as easily now associate salami with a home-grown picnic: British farmers have long embraced the preserving practices of salting, smoking and air-drying to produce award-winning charcuterie of their own.

Purveyors of speciality British cured meats Cannon & Cannon are proudly leading the charge, and are hosting yet another charcuterie festival June 1-2 – The British Cured Meat Festival at Canopy Market, King's Cross. 

Cornish Charcuterie seaweed & cider salami

£3.50 for 80g, theartisanfood
village.com

Credit: The Artisan Food Village

With seaweed harvested off the coast of St Ives, this easy-to-scoff salami made with both pork and beef delivers just the right amount of fattiness.

8/10

Trealy Farm Welsh lamb & lemon merguez salami

£4.50 for 80g, cannon
andcannon.com

Credit: Trealy Farm

Textured but tender, this pairs Moroccan spices with gamy Monmouthshire lamb in a beef casing, balanced with a dash of lemon and seasoned with Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt. Very moreish.

9/10

The Real Cure pink peppercorn & Purbeck cider salami

£7 for 110g, therealcure.co.uk

Made from Gloucester Old Spot pigs reared in Dorset, it’s packaged beautifully. The floral pepperiness mingles pleasantly with a sweet finish from the cider, but the meat is tough and too chewy.

5/10

Scottish salami with wild venison & green peppercorns

£4.50 for 60g, cannon
andcannon.com

A dry-cured, sliced wild red deer venison version with a soft texture and whole green peppercorns that tingle on the tongue. A standout, gobble-worthy favourite made by Great Glen Charcuterie.

10/10

Somerset Charcuterie red wine & Draycott Blue salami

£7.98 for 170g, field
andflower.co.uk

Pungent, creamy blue cheese meets aromatic, fruity red wine in this Great Taste-award winning air-dried pork salami with a lactose tang, good enough to eat on its own.

6/10

Woodall’s British Cumberland salami

£10 for 3x70g, thefoodmarket.com

Sweet, spicy and herby all at the same time, with hints of sage and nutmeg. Inspired by and redolent of the classic pork and pepper sausage from Cumbria, this is a palatable, pre-sliced, everyday British salami.

7/10