Mortadella is a large Italian bologna sausage or cold cut that is made of finely ground, heat-cured pork. It is an interesting bologna as they incorporate at least 15% small cubes of pork fat into the center which gives it its' distinctive look.
It is delicately flavored with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, coriander, pistachios and/or olives.
Traditionally the pork filling was ground into a paste using a large mortar and pestle. Mortadella gets its name from an earlier Roman sausage dating back to 1376 flavored with myrtle in place of pepper.
Mortadella originated in Bologna, which to me is interesting as it is similar to our well-known bologna in America. In various areas of Italy, it is made in different styles. In the Tuscan region it is known to be flavored with garlic and in Amatrice they lightly smoke it.
Mortadella Bologna,as with other similar foods such as Champagne and Cachaça has Protected Geographical Indication status, which means it can only be produced in that region.