Mortadella Bologna IGP is the cured meat par excellence of the Emilian capital, a product that identifies itself to the point with its land of origin that it is often simply defined as Bologna.
The breeding of pigs in the Bolognese area is already witnessed in Roman times. At the Archaeological Museum of Bologna you can in fact admire a particular plaque, which shows on one side some pigs led to pasture and on the other a mortar; according to some, the term mortadella derives from this tool.
The first real recipe of mortadella is the forerunner of the current production regulations, however, dating back only to the seventeenth century. Today the mortadella processing areas have crossed the borders of Emilia Romagna, reaching Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and other parts of Italy; his homeland however remains Zola Predosa, a few kilometers from Bologna, which every year celebrates mortadella with the Mortadella Please festival.
First of all, the raw materials: the salami comes from striated pork muscles and cubes of fat obtained exclusively from the animal’s throat, called lardelli. The dough is then cooked in dry air ovens, for a period of time that varies according to the size of the product, from a few hours up to a whole day.
It is thanks to this process that mortadella acquires its typical slightly spicy scent, and a full and balanced taste.
Finally, the pistachios.
Some companies prefer not to add them to the dough, especially in Bologna and northern Italy. However, the production specification does not prohibit the use of this ingredient.
The recipes with Mortadella di Bologna IGP are numerous. Tradition has it as an ingredient in the filling of Bolognese tortellini, but it can also be transformed into foam to spread on croutons for an aperitif, or combined with fresh vegetables and cheeses.
The most classic palates prefer it cut into slices to fill a nice sandwich.