If you think today’s holiday is full of baloney, you’re quite literally right. October the 24th is National Bologna Day!
It is also National Good and Plenty Day and National Food Day. Good and Plenty is the oldest candy brand in the U.S., dating to 1893, but it’s licorice-flavored and therefore, in our opinion, unworthy of celebration. It’s also National Food Day, but on this blog, every day is a national food day! Besides, this holiday is devoted to raising awareness of healthy, affordable, sustainably priced food, but isn’t linked to any particular type of cuisine. Bologna was the logical choice for us today, so bologna it is!
Bologna is a type of sausage similar to mortadella that originated in Bologna, Italy in the 1400s. It is made of finely ground meat, typically beef or pork, and lard (though by regulation this must be invisible to the naked eye, giving new meaning to the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”). It may also be made from chicken, turkey, venison, or god knows what. The first bolognas were made from pork, studded with cubes of white fat, and flavored with pepper, coriander, anise, and pistachio nuts. A recipe from Robert May, published in 1660, calls for “a good leg of pork and a lot of lard, flavoured with cloves, nutmeg, mace, pepper and caraway seeds.” I’m not sure why bologna has such a bad rap and is often said to contain lips, snouts, and other unsavory animal body parts; it’s really no worse than any other type of sausage around and was a childhood favorite of mine.
To celebrate, I made a bologna sandwich for dinner. I’m very specific about my bologna: it must be on white bread, with mustard (NO mayo), American cheese, a slice or two of tomato, and pickles. There can be no deviating from this format! Tara is not a bologna fan – surprise, surprise – so she suffered through a bite. Me? I could’ve gone for another!
- Bologna’s Beauty and Taste. The First Encounter With My Favorite Café (jetsettimes.com)
- Mortadella Mania (selectitaly.com)
- Bologna: Proud Heritage of University, Food – Bologna, Italy (travelpod.com)