“My bologna has a first name, it’s m-o-r-t-a-d-e-l-l-a”. While mortadella may not have its own marketing jingle, we think this Italian deli meat is a cut above and deserves to be recognized.
What is Mortadella?
Mortadella is a style of deli meat, or cold cut, that originates in Bologna, taly. It is an emulsified sausage made by artfully combining pork, pork fat, pistachios, and savory spices. The result is a large, light pink sausage, studded with unctuous bits of fat and vibrant pistachio pieces. Mortadella has a rich, silky, ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ texture and a savory, ‘porky’ flavor.
How to use Mortadella
Mortadella is a universal culinary ingredient with a multitude of applications. Serve mortadella thinly sliced or cubed as an appetizer, add it along with artisan cheese and cured meat for a charcuterie platter, or use it as a pizza topping, like this recipe for Marc Vetri’s Mortadella Pizza. Mortadella is magic when it comes to pasta dishes, like this recipe for Orecchiette with Mortadella and Peas. Or, simply use mortadella (for an authentic Bologna experience) in your sandwiches, like in this recipe for Mortadella Focaccia Sandwich.
Mortadella Variations and Where to Find Them
There really are only two types of mortadella, classic mortadella or Mortadella Bologna. Classic mortadella can be made anywhere, inside or outside Italy, and can vary slightly in use of ingredients. Mortadella Bologna is the certified mortadella. These sausages must be made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy (home to Bologna) and must follow a strict ingredient list and method of preparation. Mortadella can be found at most gourmet grocery stores or grocers that specialize in Italian cuisine. You can also order mortadella online.
Feature Image: Flickr user Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)