Mortadella is an Italian cured sausage, resembling bologna in size and appearance. It is made of pork that is first ground and then mashed into a paste, and may get its name from the Roman word for "mortar." A mortar and pestle were once commonly used to crush meats, fruits, and grain.
In addition to meat, mortadella is studded with fat taken from the throat of the pig. It is spiced with pepper, and may also contain myrtle berries and coriander. In Italy, the sausage is often studded with pistachios or pine nuts. As prepared in Italy, it is cooked for several hours at a low temperature, with low humidity. After baking, it must be refrigerated, but can keep for up to eight months.
Mortadella was and is still most frequently produced in Bologna, Italy, and it's mentioned in records dating as far back as the 14th century. An estimated 160,000 tons are consumed in that country each year.