Mortadella is a large Italian sausage originating from Bologna, Italy, characteristically dotted with square-shaped chunks of white fat. Made from finely ground pork and cured with salt, it often includes other ingredients such as garlic, black pepper, and myrtle berries, giving it a rich, slightly tangy taste. The addition of pistachios is also a common variation on mortadella for a crunchier texture.
Typically enjoyed in sandwiches or on charcuterie boards, mortadella is an important staple of Italian cuisine. It elevates any appetizer or meal by providing an unmistakable flavor experience, making it a popular choice among home cooks and consumers alike.
Mortadella, even though a staple in Italian cuisine, is often confused with ordinary bologna. Its unmistakable flavor is what sets it apart. People often struggle with incorporating the mortadella in their recipes, however it is surprisingly versatile, and can be enjoyed in sandwiches, salads, pasta, and more. The secret to getting the most out of mortadella lies in pairing it with the right food and wine. The fatty, rich flavor of mortadella pairs well with the tang of pickled vegetables, the crunch of crusty bread, or the creaminess of cheese. It also goes well with medium-bodied white wines and light red wines. One important tip about cooking with mortadella is to avoid too much heat as it can become oily and lose its delicate texture. Sear it rapidly and lightly if you must heat it, or add it at the last moment into warm dishes like pasta.
Can I eat mortadella raw?
What does mortadella taste like?
How should I serve mortadella?
Can I cook mortadella?
Why does mortadella have white squares?
Is mortadella the same as bologna?
Is there a vegan mortadella?
What wine pairs well with mortadella?
Why is there a difference in taste and texture between different brands of mortadella?
Can I use mortadella in place of ham in recipes?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does mortadella expire?
Unopened, mortadella can last up to three weeks in the refrigerator. If the package has a 'sell by date', it's usually safe to consume within a week of this date provided it hasn't been opened yet. Once opened, it should be consumed within three to five days. Freezing isn't a common storage practice for mortadella, as it can affect its texture and flavor. If you need to store mortadella for longer periods, freezing should be your last resort and consumed within two months.
How do you tell if mortadella is bad?
Mortadella, like other cured meats, is subject to bacteria and spoilage. It's important to note any changes to its color – it should be pinkish-red and not brown or gray. If you notice a strange odor that's off-putting or sour, that's a clear sign it's bad. The presence of mold or slimy texture are also indicators that mortadella should no longer be eaten.
Tips for storing mortadella to extend shelf life
• Keep mortadella in the original packaging until you're ready to eat it. The packaging is designed to preserve freshness.
• Once opened, wrap the leftover mortadella in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before returning to the fridge. You can also put it in an air-tight container.
• Do not leave mortadella out of the fridge for more than two hours. Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature.
• If you've got more mortadella than you need, consider sharing with friends or family instead of freezing. This will ensure the best texture and flavor is maintained.