Glad You Asked: What is bologna made of, and how did it get its name?

2008-01-12T00:00:00Z 2012-03-29T12:05:46Z Glad You Asked: What is bologna made of, and how did it get its name?By Journal Times staff Journal Times
January 12, 2008 12:00 am  • 

Bologna is a cooked, smoked sausage made of cured beef, cured pork or a mixture of the two.

The bologna might include choice cuts, depending on who's making it, but usually contains afterthoughts of the meat industry - organs, trimmings, end pieces and so on.

A typical recipe uses seasonings such as salt, sugar, pepper and spices, plus a curing agent that includes sodium nitrite to prevent food poisoning.

The meat is chopped, mixed with the cocktail of seasonings and put it in a casing. Like all sausages, bologna is covered in a natural casing made from the gastrointestinal tracts of cattle, sheep and hogs.

Or it's put in a synthetic casing, which could be made from collagen, fibrous materials or even plastic.

Yes, plastic. Is there anything it can't do?

Anyhow, all bologna is cooked and smoked to pasteurize it, so it's ready to eat upon purchase.

The Americanized bologna we all ate when children takes its name from the northern Italian town of Bologna. Our bologna is not the same as their bologna, though.

Italian bologna, called mortadella or mortadella bologna, is typically much spicier - and tastes better - than its mass-produced American counterpart.

What's the origin of the term "bullpen" in baseball?

It's not exactly clear. Little ever is with baseball. Why aren't Jim Kaat and Bert Blyleven in the Hall of Fame?

The bullpen is the place where relief pitchers and occasionally starting pitchers spend time during the game.

The size and purpose for use is equivalent to that of a bullpen, hence the name.

Legendary Yankees manager Casey Stengel said the term came from managers fed up with relievers shootin' the bull during baseball games, and banished the relievers to the far reaches of the stadium - the bullpen.

A theory from baseball's earlier days talks about fans who arrived late to games.

Those fans were herded into a standing-room only section of the ballpark known as the bullpen. Relief pitchers later used the same area, but the name stuck.

Even former catcher Moe Berg weighed in on the origin of the bullpen. Berg, who spoke five languages and spied for the United States during World War II, also was a member of the Linguistic Society of America.

Berg believed the term bullpen came to be because all bullpens used to be located in the outfield, right behind billboards for Bull Durham tobacco.

Whatever happened to Spuds MacKenzie?

Honey Tree Evil Eye - that's Spuds' real name - died of kidney failure on May 31, 1993, in North Riverside, Ill., at age 10. An untrue urban legend said she died after being electrocuted while filming a commercial.

That's right - she. Spuds was a little you-know-what. We should be able to write the "B" word with no fear of getting hassled by The Man, but it just doesn't work that way.

Budwesier rolled out Spuds as its mascot in the late 1980s and the pup quickly became a cultural icon, if only for a brief time. "The original party dog" only lived for 10 years, but spent those years appearing on posters and lounging in hot tubs surrounded by super-hot babes and beer. We should all be so lucky.

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