Bologna sausage

Bologna sausage, informally baloney (/bəˈlni/ bə-LOH-nee),[1] is a sausage derived from the Italian mortadella, a similar-looking, finely ground pork sausage, originally from the city of Bologna (IPA: [boˈloɲɲa] (listen)). Typical seasonings for bologna include black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, celery seed and coriander, and, like mortadella, myrtle berries give it its distinctive flavor.[2]

Pre-sliced American bologna

Other common names include parizer[3] (Parisian sausage) in Hungary, Romania, and the countries of the former Yugoslavia, polony[4] in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Western Australia, devon in most states of Australia, and fritz in South Australia.[5]

In North America, a simple and popular use is in the bologna sandwich.


Aside from pork, "bologna" can be made out of chicken, turkey, beef, venison, a combination of meats, or soy protein.

US bologna

U.S. government regulations require American bologna to be finely ground,[6] and without visible pieces of fat.

Lebanon bologna

Lebanon bologna is a Pennsylvania Dutch prepared meat. While called bologna, it is a cured, smoked and fermented semidry beef sausage similar to salami.


In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a "polony" is a finely ground pork-and-beef sausage. The name, likely derived from "Bologna", has been in use since the 17th century. The modern product is usually cooked in a red or orange skin and is served as cold slices.[7]

In New Zealand "polony" is a type of cocktail sausage with pink or red artificially-coloured skin similar to, but much smaller than, a saveloy. Miniature polonies in New Zealand are called "Cheerios" and are eaten boiled.[8]

South African "polony" is similar to bologna in constitution and appearance, and is typically inexpensive. Large-diameter (artificially coloured) pink polonies are called "French polony", with thinner rolls referred to simply as "polony". Garlic polony is also widely available.[9]

In 2018 a South African factory that produced polony and other processed meats was associated with a listeriosis outbreak that killed approximately 180 people and sickened a further thousand.[10]

Rag bologna

Rag bologna is a long stick, or "chub", of high-fat bologna native to West Tennessee[11] and its surrounding area. Unavailable beyond it, the sausage is traditionally sold wrapped in a cloth rag. The recipe has a higher content of filler than that of regular bologna. Milk solids, flour, cereal, and spices are added during processing, and the roll of bologna is bathed in lactic acid before being coated in paraffin wax. It is generally eaten on white bread with mustard and pickles, but is also a staple of family gatherings, where thick slices are smoked and barbecued along with other meats.[12] In Newfoundland, a type of rag bologna referred to as "wax" bologna is sliced thickly and fried, which is referred to as "Newfie steak".[13]

Ring bologna

Ring bologna

Ring bologna is much smaller in diameter than standard bologna. It is better suited for slicing and serving on crackers, either as a snack or hors d'oeuvre. It is generally sold as an entire link rather than sliced. The link is arranged as a semicircle or "ring" when prepared for sale (hence the name).[14] Pickled bologna is usually made from ring bologna soaked in vinegar and typical pickling spices.[15] It is usually served in chunks as a cold snack.

Vegetarian bologna

Various vegetarian and vegan versions of bologna are available. A typical UK recipe uses soya and wheat protein in the place of lean meat and palm oil instead of fat together with starch, carrageenan, and flavorings. It can be eaten cold or cooked in the same ways as traditional bologna.[16]

See also

  • Bologna sandwich – sandwich common in the United States and Canada
  • Doktorskaya kolbasa — a Russian take on bologna or mortadella, though spiced differently
  • Chả lụa - a Vietnamese sausage, similar to bologna
  • Falukorv
  • Leberkäse


  1. "baloney." Archived 23 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 14 October 2011.
  2. "What The Heck Is In Bologna, Anyway?". Huffington Post. 24 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  3. "Bologna (Parizer)". Muncan Food Corp. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  4. "Polony". Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  5. Packer, Stephanie (20 June 2014). "Is it fritz or devon?". Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  6. "Hot Dogs and Food Safety". Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
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  10. Katharine, Child (4 March 2018). "Enterprise polony identified as source of listeria outbreak". Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  11. "Fineberg Packing Co., Inc". Fineberg Packing Co., Inc. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. Randal, Oulton (11 August 2004). "Rag Baloney". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  13. "Newfoundland Steak: An In-Depth Look at Bologna". Newfoundland Times. 8 May 2020. Archived from the original on 4 June 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  14. "What is Ring Bologna". wiseGeek. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  15. In the Midwest, Great Bologna Is a Way of Life Archived 22 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Sara Bir, 3 November 2014
  16. "Slicing Sausage / Bologna - Fry Family Food". 16 July 2016. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
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