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Apr 5, 2000 02:37 PM

A little disappointed in the "New" Mortadella....

  • l

Okay, I read about it, waited years for it---and now I've eaten it. Twice. From two different specialty shops. Am I crazy--or was anyone else expecting a totally upgraded taste sensation when they changed over from the "old" mortadella to the "new" mortadella? Unless Balducci's and Zabar's are just PRETENDING to have the new stuff--it really is not the nirvana I was hoping for.

Yes, it's more flavorful--but not THAT much more. Is anyone else disappointed?

This question is coming from a foodie, who always searches out the gamiest, ugliest, rawest, "unshrink-wrapped" salamis from Italy--the kind that rarely appears on the shop shelves. (The kind you wrap in a baggie to keep the grease off your hands.)

So--maybe I was just expecting too much from a mortadella--"new"--or "old."

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  1. p
    Paul Desorcy

    Very surprised to hear you didn't think the "Italian" mortadella was that much better than what you are use to. What brands do you normally eat? I have not found any of the US produced stuff to be that great. There is an imported brand "San Daniele" from Canada that is the best I have found. Is Balducci's and Zabar advertising it as "imported from Italy"? I also waited years for the ban to be lifted. When we got prosciutto crudo, I hoped others would follow. Nothing happened until several years later when we got prosciutto cotto. The salamis you spoke of probably did not come from Italy unless the were imported illegally. I have herd there are some small shops set up in the back streets of New York who don't really interact with the FDA. Some of there products are available in Boston. At any rate back to Mortadella. I finally visited Italy in 1998 and surveyed the cold cut scene very carefully. Mortadella, being my favorite, was at the top of my list. There was no comparison to what was available in the US. About a month ago, I tasted some of the first Italian import. I thought it far superior to the us brands and a cut above the San Daniele.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Paul Desorcy

      Thanks for your note, FOODMASTER Paul!

      I'm convinced now that I wasn't served the REAL thing. I just couldn't believe I wouldn't notice the difference, when I tried them. Like you, I was totally aware of the differing qualities of the "real" prosciutto, when it finally emerged from Europe--I think I've tried every brand there is! (By the way--that salami I get very rarely IS illegal. The guy at Zabar's said every once in a while they get a few slipped in--but they disappear almost at once.)

      I have a grim feeling that some markets are selling the OLD mortadella when they run out of the NEW mortadella. My sister, also felt as I did when she tasted it.

      Please, if you can have the chance, let me know exactly HOW it differs and what it LOOKs like. And WHERE you got it. I feel like a sucker!!! My taste buds ae usually sharper than that! But maybe I was sold "a bill of goods...."


      1. re: lynn

        >Please, if you can have the chance, let me know exactly HOW it differs and what it >LOOKs like. And WHERE you got it.

        It looks similar to some of the better mortadellas from the US and very similar to San Daniele from Canada but it is much more aromatic and full flavored. I made another mortadella run on Friday. They sell it at Italian grocery in Hyde Park which also bakes their own "GREAT" bread. I picked-up a pound and had them make me a sandwich with just mortadella and a few thin slices of provolone. There is no place to eat in the store so I retired to the parking lot to enjoy my sandwich. After finishing, I pondered for a moment then said what the hell and went back to order another sandwich.. I ate half, saving the rest for a guy the owns a little Italian grocery in Waltham. He carries the San Daniele brand, which I drop in for occasionally. I wanted him to try the "Italian" import. The sliced mortadella turned out to be a little disappointing It seamed to lack the depth of flavor which I did not detect when eating the sandwich. It defiantly was not as good as the ones I had in Italy. Like everything else, I am sure there are different qualities of Italian mortadella. Let's hope they export some of the better varieties to the US. I can tell you, when I visited Parma they had Prosciutto that I have never seen in this country. They also have something called "Culatello". which is a dry cured lean ham that has been soaked in wine during aging. Good luck in your search.. I will be visiting NY in a few weeks. If you find any scrumpdiddlyumptious stuff keep me posted.