Mortadella is cooked cured pork meat that is produced only in central and northern Italy. The original recipe was codified in 1661 in the Bologna area in the Emilia-Romagna region and, since 1998, is protected by the European Union, which has granted the Mortadella Bologna the Protected Geographical Indication. Companies whom bear this brand stand out from the common mortadella as they must follow a precise method in use of their ingredients and the doses and processing of the product.
For its preparation special machines finely chop both, thick and lean parts of the pork. Cubes of fat only from the throat, which is the hardest and most exquisite amongst the fatty tissues of the animal, are added to the mixture together with spices and aromatic herbs. The whole mixture is bagged according to the desired measurement (some mortadella can be several hundred kilos) and cooked in dry-air heaters for periods of from a few hours to a full day, depending on the size of the sausages. The product core temperature should never be less than + 70 ° C. A shower with cold water follows and after that the mortadella is put in a cooling cell that allows the product to stabilize. When cut, the slice is smooth, uniform and pink.
How to handle it in the shops
37 million kg of Mortadella Bologna IGP were produced in 2014. On the market Mortadella is available in different sizes: a whole one, pre-sliced in a tray, in cubes or pieces in modified atmosphere or vacuumed. In Italy is it commonly sold (81%) at the meat counter of supermarkets, of retail stores and delicatessens. The pre-sliced version is increasingly appreciated.
by Jessika Pini