A prince among sausages, Mortadella originated in the great city of Bologna, Italy centuries ago.

Mortadella is a pressed cooked sausage, usually sold by the slice from the delicatessen. It is a staple on the antipasto platter, compliments summer salads, and is terrific when grilled under smelly cheese on good crusty bread.

Mortadella's glorious pink colour comes from the very finely ground constituent meats, being primarly lean beef and pork. To the mix is added cubes of unctuous pork fat, which gives the sausage visual interest and a melting sensation when masticated.

Traditionally, mortadella is smoked and air-dried. Many progressive western countries ban the importation of "uncooked" European meat products on highly questionable food safety arguments, so it can be difficult to enjoy genuine Italian mortadella outside of Italia.

All mortadella is gently spiced with garlic and anise. The German version of mortadella contains pistachio nuts.

additional research sources include the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and allrecipes.com

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