The History of Mortadella

For those who know and appreciate Italian cured meats, one of the many varieties that first comes to mind is Mortadella from Bologna. The cold cut is so synonymous with its place of origin, that outside of Italy it is often referred to as simply ‘Bologna’.

Mortadella has an amazing long history which includes an appreciation by ancient Romans as proven by a stele in Bologna, which depicts a butcher using tools to mix together the meat and spices to prepare mortadella. The famous salume is also mentioned throughout may historical writings that demonstrate that by the middle ages, Mortadella was enjoyed throughout all of Europe.

The particular cold cut became so praised that a headquarters was established in Bologna to ensure the quality and authenticity of all manufacturers of Mortadella and in 1661, a law was past against counterfeit mortadella which ensured that the production process adhered to strict guidelines that were eventually to become the bases for Mortadella’s IGP (P.G.I. denomination – Protected Geographical Indication).

Although as the years progressed, the manufacturing process became mechanized during the industrial revolution, the highly protected recipe has always remained essentially the same. It was during these revolutions of production that a watertight can was invented, making it possible to preserve and therefore distribute Mortadella globally.

Still to this day, traditional Mortadella remains highly protected by IGP and genuine products are made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The appreciation of this cured meat remains highly celebrated in this region through two festivals dedicated to Mortadella di Bologna ‘Mortadella Please’ and ‘Mortadella Bò’

Mortadella is Veroni’s most cherished cured meat, establishing the beginning, and eventually the wider appreciation of the family-owned business that started as a small store in Emilia-Romagna. Find out all about our famous Giant Mortadellas and how we broke the record of the biggest Mortadella in the world here.



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