Beloved around the world and present in films and literature, Mortadella is the most distinctive gastronomic product from Bologna, so characteristic that today the words “Mortadella” and “Bologna” have become synonymous.

It seems that his original name dates back to the Roman Empire: according to some, in fact, it derives from the word “mortarium”, the typical mortar used to crush pork meat. The recipe for Mortadella has always been jealously guarded: the legend has it that in 1706 the ethnographer Labat, passing through Bologna, was so impressed by this specialty that he began to ask what were the ingredients used in its preparation.

The citizens of Bologna, jealous of their product, resorted to deception and secrecy and they told Labat that Mortadella was prepared with beef, wild boar or new born donkeys. During the twentieth century the fame of Mortadella crossed the national borders and reached the Titanic. The
authentic menu of the dinner on the 14th April 1912, recently sold at auction, witnesses that among the dishes served in the first class there was also the “Bologna sausage”, a very popular delicacy in the New World.

Photo by Consorzio Mortadella Bologna