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Bologna food, which refers to the food from city of Bologna, mainly consists of sausages and hot dogs. However, in reality, the bologna culinary scene is much more than that. The place is known for its best quality grains, vegetables, grapes and wines. The city was always remembered for its rich culinary traditions, cuisine and hospitality. Unlike some other Italian cities, the people who settled here enriched the Bologna food traditions by amalgamating the existing practices with their flavors and tastes. The place was famous for abundance of meat and fowl. The visitors to this place can never stop of ravishing about the place and the industrial development of meat based products and fowl. However, the Bolognese fare was largely valued for the assortment of meat preparations, but there isn’t any single sausage variety which is named after the place of its origin. Cured pork meats are mainly produced in Bologna and surrounding areas of Emilia-Romagna.

History of Bolognese Cuisine
The history of this cuisine can be associated with the evolution of tortellini, tagliatelle and mortadella.

  • Tortellini: It was first cooked up during the Middle Ages. It is believed that shape of “tortellino” was largely influenced by Venus belly button. The ideation for development of the dish probably came from the culture of eating hand rolled egg pasta and meat broth. In later years pig meat was constantly used for filling. The present form of tortellini is believed to have evolved in 16th century.

  • Mortadella: It is one of the oldest meat preparations in the world. The history of this food tradition can be tracked back to 2000 years. Over the years, Bolognese have developed their own sausages with unusual flavors and tantalizing tastes.

  • Tagliatelle: Food connoisseurs say that tagliatelle is the finest expression of Bologna food culture. It is believed that the food was first created in 1487 on the occasion of marriage of son of Giovanni II, Lord of Bologna, to Lucrezia d'Este. It is believed that for the first time this special food was served in silver plates.

Features of Bolognese Cuisine
The wisdom of Bologna food traditions are passed from generation to generation from the elders of the family. The snacking in Bologna is especially with fried pizza dough. The fried pizza dough is mostly teamed with cheeses and local sausages before serving. The Bolognese fare makes use of fresh, rich and simple ingredients.

Bologna is also incidentally a large, smooth-textured, smoked American sausage that is inspired from the Italian mortadella. Known also as boloney, baloney and sometimes polony, it consists of ground seasoned mixed meats quite like the mortadella, a sausage from Italy, which is made up of finely ground/minced pork. The main difference between the two is perhaps the absence of visible fat in keeping with the US government guidelines that require American bologna sausages to be finely ground with no fatty chunks.

Bologna sausages are also made using beef, venison, turkey, chicken or even soy protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Types of Bologna

German Bologna

It is the presence of a number of different seasonings, particularly garlic that distinguishes this sausage from the other types. Referred to as Extrawurst in Austria and Fleischwurst in Germany, there is also an upmarket version called Lyoner or the Lyon sausage made without the strong garlic accent.

Other than these versions, the original version is also available by the name of Italienische Mortadella. The regular bologna, closest to the American boloney, additionally contains pistachios and is generally called Mortadella.

Lebanon Bologna

Originating from the Pennsylvania Dutch region, the Lebanon Bologna has been developed on the lines of European slow-cured sausages. With several versions available like the original, sweet, honey smoked or double smoked, this is quite often served as luncheon meat.

The distinctive features of the typical beef Lebanon Bologna sausage are that these are –

  • Cured
  • Smoked
  • Fermented
  • Semi-dry
  • And appear like a darker version of the salami, with a unique tangy flavour.

The Lebanon Bologna derives its name from the Lebanon County of Pennsylvania where it is usually manufactured through a set of complex temperature and time bound procedures.

Kosher or Halal Bologna

Ordinarily beef-based, these may be produced from lamb or turkey while strictly adhering to the Kosher meat or Halal meat regulations.


Bologna Bowl is a variant made by heating the bologna sausage, till flexible, shaping in the form of a bowl, which may subsequently be filled with cheese or a number of other ingredients.

Lauantaimakkara is basically a Finnish version of bologna derived from the German Lyon sausage, the "Lyoner".

Bologna Sandwich / Baloney sandwich is a popular snack in both the US and Canada, made using sliced bologna sausage meat between bread slices along with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles, cheese slices and condiments like mustard, mayonnaise and/or ketchup.

German Bologna Sausage Salad also known as German Sausage Salad or simply Wurstsalat in German and is made using Fleischwurst sliced into noodle-like strips together with onions, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle and fresh dill or parsley.

In a similar manner, the Lyonerwurst Salat can also be prepared using the Lyoner sausage.