The term pepperoni is a corruption of peperoni, the plural of peperone, the Italian word for bell pepper. The first reference using pepperoni to refer to a sausage dates to 1919. Throughout continental Europe with the exception of Germany, peperone is a common word for various types of capsicum, including bell peppers and a small, spicy and often pickled pepper known as peperoncino or also sometimes peperone piccante peperoncini or banana peppers in the U.S. Unlike in Europe, the English word pepperoni is used as a singular uncountable noun. In Italian the word "peperoncini" mostly refers to hot and spicy peppers or sometimes even to small sweet kinds, while "peperoni" refers only to sweet peppers as the Bell peppers.
To order this type of pizza topping in Italy one would ask for salame piccante, salame piccante calabro, or spianata calabra. A request for "pepperoni" may be mistakenly interpreted as an order for sliced Bell peppers.
There are also halal and kosher varieties, which are made from meats compliant with the religious standards. Uncured versions also exist, which require refrigeration.