What is Mortadella?

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I have a recipe for New Orleans Muffalettas and have all the ingredients except 8 oz. sliced mortadella. What is it--cheese, maybe? Our local wally world super center didn't have it and didn't know what it is. (No, it's not Portabella). What can be substituted, if anything? We have no gourmet markets anywhere close.

-- gibson girl in s.e.Illinois (bobtravous@email.com), January 24, 2002


I allways thought (I could be way wrong) that muffalettas were a kind of fancy ham and cheese sandwhich, so my guess would be that its a kind of cheese-also cheese does come in "Sliced 8oz" packages. Sounds Italian.

-- Kelly(KY) (homearts2002@yahoo.com), January 24, 2002.

A web search says that mortadella is a bologna sausage. Looks like you have to get it from a specialty store or mail order. Do you have any friends going to Lousiana soon?

-- Ivy in NW AR (balch84@cox-internet.com), January 24, 2002.

Our daughter lives in Mandeville and works in New Orleans. A couple of years ago, we had a muffaletta at a cafe there and I just recently found a recipe for it in a wonderful catalog, which can be ordered. The catalog is Baker's Catalog. Phone 800-827-6836. They have website but I haven't figured out how to use it. (Can you tell I don't know much about computers?!) They sell all kinds of baking stuff, gluten-free, etc. A little pricey, maybe.

Plan on going to N.O. before too many weeks, but I'm anxious to try the recipe NOW!

-- gibson girl in s.e.Illinois (bobtravous@email.com), January 24, 2002.

I did a quick web search - it is an Italian pork sausage, referred to as the original bologna. It apparently was banned from the US until last year due to health hazards from Italian pork. It appears to be similar to salami or perhaps prosciutto? A couple of brand names are Balto and Daniele.

There is also a movie called La Mortadella, starring Sophia Loren, but I doubt that's what you're needing to make your Muffaletta recipe. Incidently, the movie is about a woman who refused to give up her banned sausage to the authorities. More than you ever wanted to know about Mortadella, I'm sure.

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), January 24, 2002.

gibson girl, you can use salami instead. Are you putting olive salad on the sandwich? Yummmmm.

-- Annie (mistletoe5@earthlink.net), January 24, 2002.

That there is Yankee italian food and I miss it so much it makes me CRY!!!!!!!!!!! I grew up in Boston where everybody knows what a mortadella and provolone sandwich is....unfortunately, since most of the Italian immigrants never ventured to the deep South and set up delies, I am without my favorite food...mortadella is a wonderful Italian luncheon meat..sort of a cross between ham and salami..not greasy at all and full of spices..YUMMMMMMMM..what to use as a substitute??? good question.. I assume you would also have troublw finding prosciutto as well...I guess I would go for either very thin salami ot ham......I think I'll call my brother and have him send a pound of mortadella to Alabama!

-- lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), January 24, 2002.

You might want to order it from a mail order Italian Deli, or your nearest large city may have one and you could make a little trip out of it.

I miss copacolla (probably not spelled right, but it is an italian ham with paprika on the edge of the slices), and Italian provolone, domestic just doesn't compare in flavor *sigh*.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), January 24, 2002.

Annie--From Baker's catalog (800 number above) I ordered Muffaletta "New Orleans' classic sandwich condiment, featuring chopped olives and pimentos, vinegar, garlic and herbs." Found Genoa salami and provolone (?) cheese, thin sliced ham at wally world. They didn't have anything like mortadella--when I found out what it was and could ask---so I am substituting plain old thin sliced bologna. I made the starter last night, shaped the loaf today and it has to rest in refrig until tomorrow, when I'll bake it, cool and hopefully put together the sandwich, which is 14" across! Can also add lettuce and fresh tomato, but since no tomatoes are decent this time of year, and neither my son nor I can tolerate raw lettuce due to health issues, we won't have either one on the sandwich. Guess what this household will be eating for the next week!

-- gibson girl in s.e.Illinois (bobtravous@email.com), January 25, 2002.

actually folks, the mortadella that you find in Italy is much like a huge tube of bologna, I mean relly huge. maybe a foot across. It has throughout cubes of fat. You go to the "salumeria" and get some sliced up for you "fresh", if you like that sort of thing. the best substitute would be just plain ole bologna. I'm sure there are probable reagional differances, this was in northern Italy. Susan

-- Susan n' emily in Tn. (animalcrackers55@hotmail.com), January 25, 2002.

Thanks to all for the answers! Baked the bread this AM, had the muffaletta for lunch--well, part of it anyway! DH, son and I ate about 1/4 of it, took a slice to my mom this afternoon. Actually, it was pretty good.

-- gibson girl in s.e.Illinois (bobtravous@email.com), January 26, 2002.

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