Culinary no-no #763


Our family is pondering taking a Walt Disney World vacation later this year. Yes we know all about ‘woke’ Disney. We read the papers. But we’ve never been exposed to any crap and have always had a great time down there. So Mouse House here we come.

A definite stop on our itinerary will be Disney Springs, a massive dining, shopping and entertainment destination on Disney property that boasts an array of amazing restaurants. One of them is Wine Bar George that features more than 140 wines from around the world, all of which are available by the ounce, glass, or bottle.

On the menu: The Big Board, a chef’s selection of six artisanal cheeses and five crafter meats with accompaniments. Serves two or more, $61.

No culinary no-no there per se.

However, may I suggest that I don’t see any mortadella on that board.


Mortadella is an emulsified Italian sausage with origins in Bologna, Italy. It’s composed of cured pork with least 15% pork fat cubes, whole or chopped pistachios, and spiced with black pepper and myrtle berries. The extra fat content gives mortadella its signature white “polka dot” look.

Mortadella could very well be the Rodney Dangerfield of cold cuts, but that might be changing.

According to the LA Times:

Slices of mortadella “are popping up on sandwiches, on charcuterie plates in Los Angeles, but it’s hard to view any food item depicted in ancient Roman carvings as a flash in the pan. The Italian deli meat that traces its roots to Bologna and as far back as the Etruscans isn’t new, but of late it’s been gaining the kind of star power that salami and prosciutto have hogged for too long.”

More from the newspaper:

In 1998, it received its own Protected Geographical Indication — meaning its ingredients and methods must adhere to a strict set of criteria to be considered authentically regional. L.A. chefs and diners have taken note of the appeal of mortadella.

To Felix and Mother Wolf chef Evan Funke, mortadella’s time was long overdue. “I f—ing love mortadella,” he says. “I think it’s great that L.A. is having a moment, but Mortadella is the moment, always has been. I think it’s one of the most underrated salumi to come out of anywhere in the world; it’s underutilized, underappreciated, super versatile, and I think it’s the best, so I love that it’s getting a little bit of traction.”

I just polished off some mortadella from our nearby Sendik’s. Very tasty, but Funke would not have approved.

Once, while training with Alessandra Spisni at the School of Sfoglia Bolognese Traditional Cuisine, Funke saw her vendor send mortadella studded with pistachios; the chef-instructor immediately called upon all the saints in heaven and cursed her vendor. She was so mad, Funke says, she immediately sent it back and said, “This is not mortadella, it has pistachios in it. That’s Sicilian.”

I’m not fussy. I put mortadella on a Kaiser roll with some American Cheese and mustard knowing full well an Italian might spit in my face.

So where’s the no-no this week? Let’s return to the LA Times:

Cocktail bar Thunderbolt even recently experimented with crafting a cocktail employing the deli meat, creating an old-fashioned that featured mortadella-washed bourbon (4th from the bottom).

According to Thunderbolt’s website the cocktail is no longer on the menu. Probably wise.


How Al McGuire made one of food blogs

ICYMI: Culinary no-no #762, Costco

4 thoughts on “Culinary no-no #763

  1. If I felt downtown Chicago was safe, I’d suggest Eataly. I’m sure it’s fine to go though. It’s in the Gold Coast neighborhood, by the Drake. Lots of handmade Italian cheese and sausages, and you can eat in any of the sections. Nice experience.
    And even closer is Tenutas in Kenosha.


  2. Pingback: Culinary no-no #764 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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