It’s been made since ancient Roman times. The name mortadella is derived from mortariolum, which means mortar, the implement that was used to mince pork meat before electric grinders came along. The recipe that we know today as mortadella dates back to 1661, when one Cardinal Farnese published a public notice in Bologna codifying the making of this product for the first time. Down through the centuries, the mortadella from Bologna became famous and spread to many areas of what is now known as Northern and Central Italy. In 1998, it received the prestigious European recognition of the Protected Geographical Indication mark, (IGP) an acronym that guarantees a product originating from a region whose quality, recipe and characteristics can be traced back to its geographic origin.
There are several places in Rome that display huge mortadella — at least 12 inches in diameter and five feet long. This one’s at Panella.
Moreover, it’s fast and easy to make and even people who claim not to like mortadella may become converts.