Lebanon Bologna vs Regular Bologna and the Best Ways to Enjoy Them
Like many types of meat, bologna comes in different varieties. Some are more spicy, tangy, or even creamy when paired with the right ingredients. But of the many different flavor profiles, two of the most well-known are Lebanon bologna and regular bologna.
Choosing which is your preferred choice of meat can be a challenging decision, but there are certainly ways to tell the difference. Stick with us, and we’ll help guide you through the process of finding your favorite, Lebanon bologna vs regular bologna.
- History of Lebanon Bologna
- History of Regular Bologna
- The Difference Between Lebanon Bologna and Regular Bologna
- Nutritional Facts & Ingredients
- How Lebanon/Regular Bologna is Made
- Recipes for Bologna
History of Lebanon Bologna
Bologna itself was first created by 19th-century German farmers who immigrated to the states (and are now known as the PA Dutch). The farmers were known for being strong slow-cured sausage makers and adapted the practice for other foods (mainly meats).
They relied heavily on cattle and pigs to survive, especially in the colder months. Butchers would spend a day harvesting meat, then ferment, smoke, and hang their products in their attics to dry and age safely until it was ready for consumption in about a year.
One of the most well-known producers of Lebanon bologna is Seltzer’s, located in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. They’ve been making bologna since 1902, earning the reputation of being the original and largest producer of bologna.
Their method of making bologna involves housing it in a brick-lined smokehouse with a flame pit filled with hardwood dug beneath it, which produces the flavored smoke.
History of Regular Bologna
In regards to regular bologna, the story is mostly the same, save for a few additional bits of information.
One of these interesting stories related to its origins is that bologna itself was named after an actual city named Bologna, Italy. The meat had actually started out as mortadella (which is another type of Italian sausage that often uses black pepper grains and even pistachios) known for being on the spicier side and being a pork-based meat.
Although there isn’t much information on how exactly the Italians brought the meat with them to the United States, it can be assumed that these sausage makers found ways to mix their knowledge with the Germans that came and made the lunch meat so popular.
The Difference Between Lebanon Bologna and Regular Bologna
Lebanon bologna is an all-beef bologna. It is somewhat similar to semi dry fermented sausage, but more like salami in terms of color (though more of a darker reddish pink).
Lebanon bologna has a strong, smoky, and tangy taste with a punching flavor of spices mixed with subtle creamy sweetness. It’s the perfect meat to enjoy whether you’re eating it with other varieties of meat or pairing it with the right kind of cheese for a special occasion or even a simple charcuterie board.
Regular bologna, on the other hand, is typically made with pork or other mixed meats. And not just beef or pork, but at times chicken and turkey too. It’s typically up to the brand/company that makes the meat, but the flavor is definitely a good way of telling the difference.
You may have heard of another type of bologna known as sweet bologna, but the truth is that this is an alternative name for Lebanon bologna. This is more due to consumers often highlighting the stronger creamy sweet taste the meat has compared to the regular kind.
There’s even a sweet Lebanon bologna that exists, which is actually quite popular for its strong sweet yet tangy flavor. This is partly due to an enzyme found within the meat that regular bologna lacks.
Nutritional Facts & Ingredients
Here are the nutritional facts related to Lebanon and regular bologna.
Lebanon Bologna Nutritional Facts & Ingredients
The main ingredients used in Lebanon bologna are beef, salt, sugar, spices, and other ingredients that assist in the fermentation and curing process.
Regular Bologna Nutritional Facts & Ingredients
The ingredients used in regular bologna are nearly the same, save for the type/variety of meats that are used in the bologna.
How Lebanon/Regular Bologna is Made
The beef is first coarsely ground and added to a mixer, where it is laced with salt, sugar, and spices of the maker’s choice. It will often go through another grinder, and other ingredients (such as probiotics) are added to aid in the later curing/fermentation process to keep the pH level at a healthy point
The beef will typically be separated into different bins and stored in refrigeration based on the different types of bologna they will be.
The meat ready to be processed is then formed into “chubs” (or long rolls/logs) and stuffed into casings and then fiber netting, usually by a machine. They’ll be transported to the smokers and hung on the smoke racks to have flavor infused into them. Doors are closed to ensure all the smoke is trapped.
There are some differences in how bologna can be smoked or extra ingredients added. Some companies use smokehouses, while others use stainless steel smokehouses.
Once they have finished being smoked, the bologna will be taken out and cooled (usually in refrigeration), then sent to the packing rooms when ready. Usually they are cut in half, vacuumed sealed, dipped in a hot water bath, dried off, labeled, and finally boxed up.
Recipes for Bologna
Now we can take a look at a few different recipes that use bologna in them for you to enjoy.
- 1 slice Oscar Mayer Bologna
- 1 hot dog bun, split
- 1 tbsp. Miracle Whip dressing
- 1 slice Claussen Kosher Dill Sandwich Slices
- 12 Ritz crackers
- 2 tbsp. of Miracle Whip dressing
- 2 Kraft Singles
- 2 slices Oscar Mayer Beef Bologna
- 1 large plum tomato, cut into 6 slices
- 6 slices of peeled cucumber
- 1 slice Oscar Mayer Bologna
- 1 Kraft Singles
- 5 cucumber spears
- 5 Ritz Crackers
- 1/2 cup of whole strawberries
- 1 Jell-O Chocolate Pudding Snack
- 2 tbsp. Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce