Now when I saw this gigante Mortadella in the Grocery store the other day I just couldn't resist taking a close up of it. I was then promptly followed down the aisle and told by the management that it isn't possible to take pictures in the store. Sigh..mi scusi....no, no I won't do it again....sigh...They were very protective of that big dog! Mortadella which hails from the city of Bologna gets it due respect here in Italy. It's considered a delicacy, thinly sliced for paninos or slightly fried and piled high on bread rounds, or big chunks of it pasta sauces and salads or grilled on coals like any other respectable grill item. According to the article from "Living in Italy", the fat content isn't as bad as we all have thought it to be.
" For health conscious individuals that are trying to avoid saturated fats and cholesterol there is good news. Mortadella, with its characteristic white pieces of fat is not as bad as you may think. The presence of this fat has scared some into avoiding mortadella but the sausage is actually very good for you. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil comprises most of the fat content in Mortadella and cholesterol levels are equal to a similar serving of chicken. The sausage is also high in protein, not to mention that Mortadella di Bologna is protected by its PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) designation, ensuring that authentic mortadella is free from fillers, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives"
For me childhood baloney memories came rushing in from a long time ago when I beheld that big baby sitting proudly by the big wheels of Parmigiana cheese. Many a fried baloney sandwich on white with mayonnaise for grade school sack lunches were loving prepared by my Mom, to spare me from from some of the more unpopular menus, like liver and onions day. Our family use to take vacations with another family, the Carltons, who lived in the next state and had children close in age to the four of us. When we all got together there was always chaos, pranks and late night tales of the things our parents had done together before we children came along. Whenever our families started planning the next family get together, Sam Carlton was always ready with the baloney. He went on and on about baloney like it was the grandest thing that had ever been invented and we were lucky to be able to bring along a whole sausage of of it, cause there just wasn't anything finer than "Blue Bell" baloney. That joke went on for years and I can't think of baloney with out thinking about Sam waxing on poetically about the virtues of baloney. We use to spend weekends, camp meeting or summer holidays together which usually meant fishing, camping, swimming, and cook outs finished off with roasted marshmallows, juicy water melon slices and hand cranked ice cream topped off with late nights chasing fireflies or hide and seek and always a lot of laughter, so much sometimes, you almost ended up crying or peeing your pants. It was just plain ole fun when we all got together. I can't ever think about baloney (and I can't say that I do very often as I grew out of eating that as soon as I hit the teenage years) without hearing Sam going on about the baloney, and that just meant one thing was coming, and that was, of course...fun! They would have loved that baloney in the picture that's for sure, even if it is Mortadella. I think Sam would have felt validated.
Thanks Mom and Dad, Sam and Louise, for all those laughs and that's no baloney.