Ack!  I am late!  I apologise.  I meant to write this up last night and then, after a long day of conferencing and travelling I succombed to the charms of a snuggly, sleep-sweaty little person who was really happy to see me and, after cuddling him back to sleep, passed out myself.

Bologna.  Baloney.  Bologna, Italy is a city famed for its University (the oldest one in the Western world if Wiki is to be believed) and the pasta sauce after which it is named (that would be Bolognese for those not in the know).  None of this has any relation whatsoever to the American Bologna Sausage.  Okay, maybe a little, or a lot – read on fair friends.

Although most of us are familiar with it in the form made by Oscar Meyer, there is maybe more to this sausage than meets the eye.  People who like to make it sound more high-brow, liken it to the Italian Mortadella (a variation on head cheese really – and I’ve never been fond) and, in truth, they are definitely, distantly, related.  However, the American Bologna sausage is just so much more, well, how do I say this … trashy.  In a fabulous kind of a way.

When I was a little person, I lived in a community populated by true hippies (my parents’ friends) and pseudo-hippies (my parents – though, really, I am not convinced that they weren’t actual hippies – this is another discussion about which we have had frequent passionate debates and they will deny their true hippy natures to the bitter end … ).  But I digress – none of this has anything much to do with bologna, except for the fact that I was NOT allowed to eat it as a child.  When we moved from the country (ahem … land of hippie commune), to the “Big City” (Nelson, B.C. a tiny village in the Kootenays), all the kids in my school seemed to have bologna sandwiches packed in their lunches.  Bologna sandwiches that I wasn’t allowed to have.  Bologna sandwiches with fakes cheese slices, white (wonder)bread and yellow mustard.  Oh my.  My lack of bologna sandwich in my lunch bag was just another factor in the long list of things that marked me as “different” from my classmates and made it hard for me to fit in. I craved those sandwiches.  I begged for those sandwiches.  I just knew that if I could have a bologna sandwich, my entire social world would be vastly improved.

Suffice to say, from my jaded perspective, this was grand high cuisine and I was being denied!  In fact, I did not eat a bologna sandwich until I was a teenager.  At which point, I decided it was possibly a better treat than McDonald’s.  This is Very High Praise coming from a 14 year old.

I would be lying if I said that a part of me doesn’t still consider a bologna sandwich Comfort Food along the same lines as Kraft Dinner, or Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup.  But I won’t eat it – not even for this blog.  At least not today.  Didn’t have time to go the grocery store, if I’m being honest.

I will leave you with this, which was my most favorite quote that I could find about Bologna Sausage:

“Bologna sausages labour under the calumnious imputation of being made of asses’ flesh”.  Follow this link to the Old Foodie for more brilliant prose on the topic.

On National Good and Plenty Day – those are the little licorice candies that look a bit like extra long tic tacs.  I hate them.  Won’t eat ’em.  Can’t make me.  Some people love ’em. Here’s a picture and words to the theme song.