My baloney has a first name, it’s Mortadella.

My life is complicated. My body doesn’t seem to react to salt too well so I have been forced to limit my sodium intake to just below the RDA amount of 2400mg per day. If I consume too much sodium, I tend to swell up like a balloon. Now that may sound like not a big deal but believe me, as a foodie, it is. Ya see, salt is in everything we eat. Especially the things I crave the most. Our commercially processed foods alone far exceed the RDA amount for our normal serving sizes. Something really everyone should consider when making their meal selections either at the grocer or eating out. For me, this means always reading the nutritional facts label and maintaining an updated understanding of just how much salt is in what I like to consume.

As a result of this limitation in my diet, certain cravings that once were staples in my diet are now reserved for special occasions or a special treat. Tonight I decided to reward myself with a special treat; an Italian sub sandwich loaded with Italian cured meats. Cured meats are very high in sodium. I was able to treat myself to this because my total sodium intake for the day so far had only been about 100mg. The Italian sub is a delicious blend of 3 meats. Genoa Salami, Capicola,  Mortadella and Provolone cheese.  Shredded iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced onions and tomatoes slathered in an Italian vinaigrette dressing. Served on a 6 inch French baguette. Augustino’s Deli makes a particularly tasty version. The combination of these ingredients create a symphony of what I feel a complete sandwich should be. The salty meats blend with the creamy provolone cheese and provide the perfect complement to the simple crunchy salad texture of the vegetables. Each bite is filled with a burst of flavor.  Nibble on some potato chips if you must and wash it all down with a refreshing sweet soda.

Now, let’s examine the cured meats in more detail:

Mortadella

Originating in Bologna, Mortadella is made of finely ground pork mixed together with cubes of high quality pork fat and sometimes pistachios or pine nuts. It gets its name from the Roman word for “mortar”; in ancient times, a mortar and pestle were often used to grind meats, fruits, and grains.  These ingredients are combined in casing and hung to slowly cook in brick ovens for up to 24 hours.  The American version of this meat is bologna.

 

Mortadella

 

Hot Capicola

 

Capicola is a traditional sausage produced in a number of regions of Italy. It’s made exclusively from the pork butt, which is aged for a minimum of thirty days in brine before being packed into a casing, where it is cooked and further aged to allow the flavor to develop. Hot Capicola is typically seasoned with crushed red-hot peppers, salt and garlic to complement the rich flavor of the pork with a spicy hot accent.

 

Hot Capicola

 

 

Genoa Salami-Artificial Casing and Natural Casing

Named after Genoa, the city in which it was born. A fine textured pork sausage full of garlic and spices that is arguably the most popular variety of Italian dried sausage in the US.  It is typically aged for over 3 months, during which time a cord is wrapped lengthwise around the sausage at regular intervals to form its shape.

 

Genoa Salami

Everyone needs to watch what they eat and make responsible choices but life is too short to not treat yourself to things every now and again. Anything in moderation is good for the soul and brings spice and zest to life. To those who disagree, I say you’re full of baloney.

 

 

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