October 24th is National Bologna Day, a day to enjoy a slice (or ten) of America’s most loved lunch meat. Bologna (sometimes referred to as “baloney,” or less commonly “jumbo”) is an American sausage similar to mortadella, a finely ground pork sausage from Bologna, Italy. Although mortadella condaines cubes of lard, US government regulations require all American bologna to be so finely ground that the pieces of lard cannot be detected. The popular meat can be made from chicken, beef, pork, tukey, or even soy, and comes in many different varieties including kosher bologna, german bologna, and lebanon bologna. And it seems there’s a bologna for just about everyone — each year Americans consume over 800 million pounds!
When I was a kid I ate my fair share of bologna sandwiches. I remember how much fun it always was to peel the red ring from each slice of ring bologna. Other than that little pleasure, I didn’t really care for bologna too much. But like so many things I barely tolerated as a child, the adult me can appreciate bologna now. Not that I ever buy it at the grocery store, but the taste doesn’t bother me in the least anymore. And let’s face it: it’s still better than eating raw hotdogs!
To celebrate National Bologna Day Chris stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work to pick up a pack of the lunch meat. My vacation isn’t over until tomorrow so I stayed home today doing laundry and cleaning up around the house. When Chris finally arrived home (8 PM seems like so much later after spending the whole day alone!) I whipped up a quick southwestern style salad while he fried a couple pieces of bologna. I’d never had bologna any way other than cold, so this was an interesting change for me. I watched in suprise as the bologna slices puffed up, forming a little mountain in the frying pan. The fried bologna tasted pretty much the same as cold bologna, just warm. I think I was expecting more of a difference — like the difference between cold spam (so-so) and fried spam (yum!). But I still found our little dinner side to be enjoyable. Now we’ll just have to think of some more clever things to do with the rest of the pack!
Hmmm…maybe we can incorporate our leftover bologna into tomorrow’s “unofficial” — if we don’t end up at our local Five Guys restaurant instead! Tomorrow is National Greasy Foods Day!