The traditional Mortadella of Bologna
One of the most appetizing products of Bologna is its famous "Mortadella" also called "Bologna" because it is born here where it was so highly regarded that was used as a form of currency in the 14th and 15th Centuries. But the first recipe with all ingredients and quantities dates back to 1644. Its name comes from the word "Mortar", "Mortaio" in Italian, used by Friars to grind pork into a smooth mixture.
One of the best ways to taste mortadella is inside a good "panino" as we called in Italian: "Panino alla mortadella".
It takes approx. 4 days to complete the entire process and make this special BRIGHT PINK PRODUCT. This procedure is made using a meat grinder where different cuts of the pig (the fat part of the throat and the lean part of the pork shoulder)are put together.
Then in the mixer, we add water, fat cubes, spices, and some secret natural flavorings plus salt and pepper, and later on, everything is put in a natural casing and tied up to keep the famous sausage shape.
Mortadella then is hung up in the oven for cooking. Yes, mortadella is not like prosciutto, it is a cooked cured meat. Mortadella has strict regulations imposed by PGI rules (Protected Geographical Indication) which ensure that it is void from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and follow strict guidelines of production.
In Bologna there are two big factories that produce Mortadella and every year in May or September these two Companies open their doors to food lovers to explain which are the necessary steps to take to obtain this fantastic specialty. Anyway, a nice tasting can be taken just in the city center where many delicatessens offer special tastings.
The typical Mortadella of Bologna wights about 12-14 pounds and it is without pistachio inside but a lot of people, especially in the south of Italy, prefer the pistacchio version of it. It is up to you. Anyway, if you want to try the real "Bologna" you have to come here and everywhere in the city center, you could find a nice place to stop and taste it.