This smoked sausage originated in Bologna, Italy, and is the original from which the slang name "baloney" came. It's made with ground beef and pork, cubes of pork fat and seasonings. The Italian version, which is not imported because it requires additional cooking steps before the U.S. government will approve it, is air-dried and has a smooth, delicate flavor. Canned, cooked versions are imported from Italy but don't taste like the original. The American mortadella is basically bologna with cubes of pork fat and garlic flavoring. The Germans produce an excellent mortadella that contains pistachio nuts.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.