October 24, 2012

National Bologna Day

"My bologna has a first name. It’s H-O-M-E-R. My bologna has a second name. It’s H-O-M-E-R.” - Homer Simpson

It's National Bologna Day!

I really... really... did not want to celebrate today's food holiday. It stands for everything I'm morally, ethically, and dietarily opposed to. But, the thing is, once upon a time it used to be my absolute favorite food.

According to my mom - the gatekeeper of my childhood - there was a period in my young life (we're talking like age two) where all I wanted to eat was "Bony Cheese," which was my adorable way of saying bologna and yellow American cheese. Didn't matter if we were having BBQ chicken or spaghetti for dinner, I had to have a side of Bony Cheese with everything. "Lunch? Bony Cheese with veggies. No Bony Cheese? Shaking hissy fits - screaming and flinging yourself on the floor. It was so frustrating," responded my mom when I asked her about this culinarily dark moment in my life. And while I didn't love my Bony Cheese in a sandwich, when I did eat it that way my preferred condiment was ketchup (this keeps getting grosser and grosser, #amIright?).

Other things I did with Bony Cheese besides eat it include:
- Fold the bologna in half, take a bite from the middle, then stick the bologna with the hole in it to my forehead screaming "Dodo Bony" (doughnut and bologna).
- Put a piece of bologna in one hand, a piece of cheese in the other and attempt to clap. Sometimes it would stick and this would irrationally irritate me.
- Toss the bologna and cheese into the air and yell, "SUN AND MOON!"
- Neurotically nibble away at the corners of my square cheese to make it more circular like the bologna was.
- Took two pieces of bologna, folded them in half, took a bite from the centers, and then slid my ears through the holes. That's when my mom decided that sticking it to my forehead was acceptable, hanging them off my ears was not.

(That's me at my 2nd birthday party and I'm eating...
bologna and American cheese. Oye.)

Actual bologna, named after a city in Italy, is a type of sausage made from the leftover parts (think hooves and snouts and ears) of beef, pork, and chicken. Think that's unappealing? The Italian version of bologna, called mortadella, contains chunks of lard. At least stateside our government food regulations require bologna to be ground so fine that chunks of, well, anything can't be seen or tasted.

Thanks to culinary advancements with soy, today I'm paying homage to my childhood with an entirely vegan version of Bony Cheese. Who knew twenty-some-odd years ago my then favorite food would have it's own holiday?

Happy National Bologna Day!