(WWTI) – “Weird Al” Yankovic sang a whole song about it, so show National Bologna Day some love.
In 1661, mortadella — bologna’s European cousin — was so protected, that the papacy decided to create a clear definition to distinguish it from other, lesser versions of finely ground pork with chunks of fat. Bologna is mortadella without the fat chunks. It can be found at baseball stadiums, lunch counters, delis, inside tin cans and in the glass cases of butchers. It can be fried and thrown on toasted bread with pickles, onions, tomatoes and lettuce. It can even be served cold with thick slices of cheddar and white bread. Regardless of how you use it, bologna came to America with German immigration at the turn of the twentieth century, establishing it as a de facto cuisine in the areas they settled in.
During the Great Depression, bologna was one of the most accessible foods to Americans as It was affordable and kept well for long periods of time. Making bologna sandwiches was a mainstay for many Americans and garnered a reputation as something consumed during hard times. In 1963, the New York Board of Education included bologna as an official lunch item and helped to feed children in the country’s largest public school system.
- 3/4 lb shaved bologna
- 4 oz processed cheese, queso flavored, cubed
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons beer
- 1/4 sliced, pickled jalapeños
- 2 brioche sub rolls
- Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add bologna and pan “fry” just until crispy. Be sure to stir the bologna with tongs or a fork so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and to ensure that each piece gets crispy.
- Meanwhile, place cubed processed cheese and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the beer.
- Divide the crispy bologna between the two rolls, drizzle with cheese and top with jalapenos. Serve immediately.
Happy National Bologna Day!