Mortadella Vs Bologna: Key Differences

Mortadella vs Bologna is a problematic comparison.

There’s a lot of confusion that comes with mortadella and bologna. It’s easy to assume they are the same, but they’re not.

However, what sets these two apart is that the meat and fat are emulsified into a uniform mixture in bologna.

Meanwhile, in mortadella, the cubes of fat break up the meat.

Also, mortadella has a rich pork flavor with a hint of spice, whereas bologna is often bland and lacks the silky texture mortadella has.

But there is more to that, though. And I’m assuming you already know these sausages, so we’ll just jump into what makes them different.  

Mortadella Vs Bologna: What Are Key Differences? 

1. Origin

Mortadella and bologna are both made in Italy.

Both origins lie in Italy — in the city of Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagna.

2. Appearance

Both mortadella and bologna are types of sausage: salami that is round or oval, heavily seasoned with spices.

The significant difference is that mortadella is more enormous in diameter than bologna.

Also, the meat is pink and has visible bits of fat scattered throughout.

Bologna, on the other hand, has no visible fat. It’s just finely ground meat.

And its color may differ depending on the type of meat used.

If it’s venison meat, it will be greyish-brown. Meanwhile, beef, turkey, and lamb should be pink-red.

However, soy bologna or chicken bologna is quite lighter, like a pale pink.

So be on the look because pink doesn’t necessarily make it a bologna.

Aside from that, bologna is usually smaller compared to Mortadella, which comes in various sizes, from a few kilograms to a lot more.

3. Teste 

Some people say mortadella and bologna taste the same. They may be right, depending on what mortadella and bologna they have tried.

Most people will argue that mortadella tastes pretty much like bologna.

They are right to some degree, depending on the variation of meat they have tried.

But look at it from this perspective:

These meats can come from different animals and are heavily seasoned with various spices. How can they taste the same?

It is unlikely!

They taste similar, but Mortadella is saltier and may be slightly fattier than Bologna.

They are a more delicate cold cut than bologna, and their spices and pork fat make them more flavorful.

4. Price

Mortadella is generally considered to be more expensive than bologna because it is a more complicated product to produce.

Many believe Mortadella requires an extensive curing process involving salt, sugar, spices, and other seasonings.

Also, its size can have a hand in its cost, as bologna is smaller.

Because of its higher cost, mortadella is usually used in speciality dishes like pastrami or other meats infused with garlic, herbs, and spices.

5. Shelf life

Mortadella and bologna are similar cold cuts that need refrigeration. However, their shelf life is different.

Mortadella appears to have more longevity compared to bologna sausage.

It will keep unopened in the refrigerator for up to a month, while bologna sausage lasts only 1-2 weeks.

And when opened, you get a life span of about a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Better, Mortadella Or Bologna?

Judging from what we’ve discussed, I’d choose mortadella over bologna, even though it is pricey.

That is because, Mortadella is the traditional, more flavorful version of bologna.

Because of the high-fat content and emulsion process, this deli meat has a decadent, rich pork flavor that coats your mouth. This means it sticks around much longer than other varieties — thus enhancing its taste.

Its sweet taste makes it ideal for use in sandwiches or on top of pizzas.

Aside from that, its longevity is far greater than bologna. But again, it’s a matter of personal preference.

Can You Freeze Mortadella?

Yes, you can freeze mortadella.

You can also keep it in the freezer for a couple of weeks, but it won’t stay as fresh tasting as when it was new.

To freeze mortadella, make sure to slice the meat in considerable sizes. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, pack it into airtight containers, and place it in the freezer.

When ready to eat again, thaw out by placing the wrapped mortadella back into a sealed bag or container and let thaw at room temperature for about an hour.

Is Bologna And Hot Dogs The Same?

Yes, bologna and hot dogs are the same!

Only Bologna is a giant hot dog sliced into tiny slices. 

Who Eats The Most Bologna?

The answer is a lot of people.

Bologna is one of the most popular meats in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s tasty, inexpensive, and versatile.

The top five states in the U.S. that eat bologna are within the Midwest regions: 

  • Kentucky.
  • Kansas.
  • Wisconsin.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Arkansas.
  • Rhode Island.
  • West Virginia.
  • North Dakota.

Is Bologna Cooked Or Raw?

Bologna is typically cooked, but some manufacturers make it raw.

If you see a product that says “bologna” on the label, it’s likely a cooked product.

Bologna is sold pre-cooked, so you don’t have to bother cooking it yourself.

However, there are several ways to enjoy eating bologna.

One method is to grill the meat, so it’s ready for eating.

Another method is to boil the meat until it’s tender enough to slice thinly. Some people like adding ingredients like peppers or onions before cooking the meat to give it an added flavor.

You can also bake it in the oven for a few hours or until the bologna is completely dry or fry it.


When it comes to the debate of mortadella vs bologna, we’re not here to say which is better.

We’re here to shed light on how they differ.

So whether you’re looking to make a tasty Italian sandwich or add some flair to your dinner table, both mortadella and bologna are great options.

However, they are still slightly different enough to warrant individual consideration.

And while mortadella may not be as famous in the US as bologna, it is still a delicious meat dish that is well worth trying.