It seems its name has very ancient origins, probably rooted in the Latin word mortarium, indicating the mortar used to ground pork meat.
Originally, its production area went from Lazio to modern Romagna, where acorn-rich woods provided a perfect living environment for free roaming, wild pigs.
Mortadella is cited in cooking books of the 14th century, but the first recipe for it comes from a 1644 publication: today, it’s still made the same way, by selecting pork meat and fat, transforming them in a sort of velvety cream of an unmistakable pink hue, adding pepper, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, salt and, finally, broiling it slowly. Its incredible aroma becomes even more irresistible when pistachios or truffles are added to the mix.
Mortadella is usually served in thin slices or cubes and it is an essential ingredient in many a traditional dish, such as tortellini.
It became an IGP product in 1998, which means its production must follow strict disciplinary regulations in order to avoid counterfeiting.
The city of Bologna has been dedicating a special event to its most traditional cold cut, MortadellaBò, where last year, among tastings and amuse bouches, 6000 kg of mortadella were consumed, along with tons of local bread and, of course, rivers of Lambrusco!