It's got a jingle that's hard to get out of your head and a taste that reminds you of your childhood lunch. A staple in the South, the fried bologna sandwich has been on diner and cafeteria menus for countless years. Normally served on white bread with yellow mustard and crispy bologna slices, the classic fried bologna sandwich is as American as American cheese.
What is Bologna?
Bologna (or as some say, baloney) is a sausage made from ground pork, beef, chicken, turkey, or any combination of the latter. The sausage originated in Bologna, Italy, where it was derived from the popular Italian sausage, mortadella. From there Eater speculates that the sausage was brought to parts of Appalachia, the Midwest, the South, and Pennsylvania by German immigrants. It was cheap meat, which made it very accessible during the Great Depression. In the 1930s, it was common for people to buy slices bologna at the deli and take it home and use it to prepare the lunch pails for work the next day. These sandwiches were usually served cold and could include toppings such as dill pickles, a slice of cheese, and a bit of iceberg lettuce leaves.
How To Make A Fried Bologna Sandwich
In southern states, or in Appalachia, it's common to still see the fried bologna and cheese sandwich on the menu served with a side of potato chips, as an easy comfort food option. Although a peanut butter jelly sandwich or grilled cheese sandwich might be more classic, a Fried Bologna Sandwich is surprisingly delicious. If you find yourself craving one without wanting to head to the diner, it's pretty easy to make your own sandwich at home with only a few ingredients from the grocery store.
While condiments are completely up to you (some people really love adding mayonnaise or ketchup to their bologna sandwich recipe), the main ingredients are as follows: unsalted butter, thick slices of bologna, slices of bread (usually white bread), and yellow mustard.
Heat up your large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and add in your butter to melt and heat up. Some people like to cut small triangle shapes out of the bologna (think Pac-Man) but you can just as easily score the slice of bologna with a sharp knife, making sure to not cut the sausage in half. Scoring the thick-cut bologna will help it from curling up when frying. You can also fry bologna on a cast iron griddle.
Add the bologna to the pan and fry until golden brown. Spread your slice of bread with some spicy mustard, slap on the bologna and Bon Appétit!
This post was originally published on September 2, 2020.