One of our most popular products here at the Barnyard Café is our old-fashioned bologna sandwich. For those of us that grew up on bologna with a first and last name—real, old-fashioned, bologna is a surprising treat. What makes it different? What’s special about our bologna here at the Farm to You Market and Barnyard Café? What’s the best way to enjoy it?
First off, if you’ve never had it—please come on over to the café to try some old-fashioned bologna, featured on our Fried Bologna Sandwich. Or we’d be more than happy to slice some up for you to enjoy at home. And don’t forget the beer pairing while you’re at it, we love Old Bakery Brewery’s Golden Oat with bologna!
To better explain the difference between the supermarket lunch meat bologna and old-fashioned bologna, I spoke with this week’s featured farmer, our own in-house Farmer Toad of Todd Geisert Farms. You can buy Todd Geisert pork here at the Farm to You Market. Check out these pictures of their happy, local hogs!
What’s the difference between “old-fashioned” and conventional bologna?
First, some definitions: Bologna is a smoked sausage usually made of cured beef or pork—or a mixture of the two. (Our bologna at the Barnyard Café is made with Geisert Pork.) The name comes from a town in Italy, called… you guessed it, bologna! Although the Americanized, heavily processed and extruded kind you may have eaten as a kid is a far cry from its namesake.
Farmer Toad says, “The old-fashioned bologna in our Market isn’t emulsified, it’s not whipped like conventional lunch meat. It’s more coarsely ground than a brat—and you can see pieces of the meat and fat. When you buy it here you can be sure that the meat was raised ethically, drug and added hormone free. And it’s not overly processed. Quality in—quality out.”
What’s different about the bologna we sell?
Farmer Toad says, “When you have a good base you can do a lot with it to make a delicious product—Geisert Farm’s Old-Fashioned Bologna is a great product to build on.” From the traditional Old-Fashioned Bologna, the Geisert’s have also come up with a Sweet Bologna (Owner, Katie Geisert’s, favorite) and a Jalapeno Bologna—both of which keep customers coming back for more.
Geisert pork makes a difference! Todd Geisert’s Farm is known as the home of the happy pig. For 100 years they’ve built a tradition of happy hogs that get plenty of sunshine and enjoy a large roaming and foraging area. You can drive out to the Geisert’s Farm Stand, just past the Farm to You Market and Barnyard Café on Old HWY 100, this time of year to see the pigs enjoying life!
Having grown up on the pink, extruded bologna, I was genuinely surprised the first time I tried the Old-Fashioned kind. I had been completely turned off from eating sandwiches in general due to being fed the supermarket-style bologna as a child and disliking it. Finding a bologna that is great and with so many uses is just great. I find that you can use the Old-Fashioned Bologna in place of ham in most recipes!
The question then becomes: what’s the best way to enjoy it? Of course, it’s great sliced or cubed right out of the fridge—and you’ll never go wrong with a fried bologna sandwich. But, I like to get creative. Bologna wrapped asparagus is a springtime treat on the grill. Bologna rolled with cream cheese is light and a perfect pair with crackers and cheese as an appetizer or a snack.
Our marketing team at Branding Bear went with Bologna three ways—as an Easter Sunday appetizer with crackers and cheese, bologna egg cups for the perfect breakfast on-the-go and bologna salad—awesome on crackers or a sandwich. Look for that and more later in the week.
This is good stuff, I hope to see you this week to try it. Keep watching us on Facebook—we will have more information as well as café menu items, shopping lists and recipes as the week goes on. We will also have the “Baby Bears” from our marketing team over at Branding Bear making bologna three ways at home with the family.
As always, please comment and share. I’d love to know your thoughts—and see your cooking successes!