What Makes Ring Bologna Different From Regular Bologna?

For some of us, bologna harkens back to the days of paper bag lunches and picnics on the playground. While we may have grown up with the circular slices of pinkish bologna sold by companies like Oscar Meyer, age and wisdom taught us that there's so much more to this deli meat. Bologna has cemented itself as one of the most iconic American sandwich toppings, but it is also an amazing accompaniment to breakfast dishes, and the perfect snack for when you need a quick pop of protein. There are also different types of bologna. Along with classic American-style bologna, there is also ring bologna, which is a staple in Midwestern culture.

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, the main difference between ring bologna and regular bologna is that ring bologna is "smaller in diameter and sold as a semi-circle or a ring," hence the name. As with other cured meats, ring bologna can be enjoyed fried, cooked, stacked into a sandwich, or eaten cold. Also known as ringwurst, ring bologna is especially prevalent in the Midwest United States, and is a result of German immigrants bringing their sausage-making practices to the country in the mid-19th century.

Ring around the bologna

Like regular bologna, ring bologna is made with a variety of ground meat that is packed into casings, cooked, and then sold. There are two variants of ring bologna, fine and coarse. Fine ring bologna has been finely ground and therefore has a smooth, deli meat-like texture, while coarse ring bologna has a rougher texture. They both taste about the same, so what kind you get really comes down to personal preference.

If you want to try ring bologna for yourself, you can check your local butcher shop, or buy it from specialty online retailers like Stoltzfus Meats. Even though it originated in Italy, bologna has made itself at home in every corner of the United States. Once you've had ring bologna, you can try other regional recipes, like a fried bologna sandwich that's a staple in the south.

Whether you enjoy it mixed into salads or sliced straight out of the packaging, ring bologna is a delicious, all-American option for the discerning carnivore. The next time you pack your lunch, reach for ring bologna instead of the regular kind to bring a bit of variety to your meal.