Loved worldwide, mentioned in films, literature and in numerous writings of all periods, mortadella is the most representative gastronomic product of Bologna, so much so that in some parts of Italy, the terms "mortadella" and "Bologna" have become synonyms.
It has ancient origins: there are two stones from the Roman period, kept in the Bologna's Archaeological museum: one shows a scene of pig-rearing, introduced to the Bolognese area by the Celts, while the other shows a butcher using a mortar (a term from which the sausage takes its name) to crush together the meat and spices used to prepare the sausage. From the Middle Ages the earliest written documents which refer to mortadella and which attribute the invention to Bolognese monks.
Typically it has a cylindrical shape and , when sliced, a pink colour with scattered white cubes of lard (the so-called “lardelli”), mostly taken from the throat fat, the most highly considered. The smell is unmistakable, lightly spiced, while the taste is full and balanced, thanks specifically to the “lardelli” which add a touch of sweetness.
Mortadella di Bologna is produced using techniques that are unique in the world, starting with carefully selected pork from IGP-designated farms, which is minced three different ways, each one using a specific machine, the last of which has a name that says it all: “sterminio”! The “lardelli” are then added to the resulting mixture, which is put into skins in the quantities required (from 500g to 100kg). Cooking is the following phase and also the most delicate, in which the mortadella takes on its characteristic aroma. The process requires dry-air heaters, with cooking times from a few hours to whole days according to the size. The higher the quality of the meat (and in particular of the fat), the higher the temperature that the mortadella can stand, with the advantage of it becoming more digestible.
Over time the area of production has spread as far as Lombardy, but mortadella at its birthplacehas a whole different flavour. Mortadella, Please is the festival dedicated to the succulent salami which takes place yearly in Zola Predosa at the beginning of October.
Traditionally eaten in slices, the Mortadella di Bologna is delicious also in cubes, perhaps accompanied by flakes of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Not only: the mortadella is also the main ingredient of creative recipes , which in recent years have seen chefs and food lovers at work with a lot of taste and imagination.
Here are the firms of Zola that are members of the Consorzio produttori mortadella Bologna (Mortadella producers' association):
Via Roma, 73 - 40069 Zola Predosa (BO)
Ph. 0039 051 6175555
Via Masetti, 8/10 - 40069 Zola Predosa (BO)
Ph. 0039 051 758737
Consorzio Mortadella Bologna:
Milanofiori - Strada 4 - Palazzo Q8
20089 Rozzano (MI) Italy
Tel: 0039 02 8925901
The UIT Colli Bolognesi (Tourist Information Office of the Bolognese Hills) is located at Villa Garagnani in Zola Predosa and it provides information about Zola Predosa and Casalecchio di Reno. It also provides information on Valsamoggia and Monte San Pietro.
UIT Colli Bolognesi c/o Villa Edvige Garagnani
Via Masini 11 - 40069 Zola Predosa
Ph. +39 366 8982707
Fax +39 051 752838
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 14:30-19:00
Saturday 9:00-13:00 and 15:00-18:00
Closed on Tuesday, Sunday and Holidays
U.R.C.A. - Sportello del cittadino [Ufficio Relazioni Cittadino Amministrazione]
Sede Municipale – Piano terra Piazza della Repubblica,1 – 40069 Zola Predosa
Phone: 0039 051.6161610
Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri 7.45am-1pm
Thu 7.45am-1pm, 2.30pm-6pm
Last update: 09-09-2019