The Difference Between Pork Roll And Bologna? It’s All In The Smell

pork roll vs bologna

You may have noticed that in the grocery store, there are two different types of lunch meat: bologna and pork roll.

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So what are the differences between these two kinds of processed meat? Some people think they are the same, especially if you don’t take a close look or give them a try, but in fact, pork roll and bologna are two completely different things.

Let’s unravel this fact in the article below.

What is pork roll?

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Pork roll, also known as Taylor ham, is a type of processed meat that originated in New Jersey, the United States around the middle of the 19th century.

It is made from coarsely ground pork shoulder with different kinds of spices, such as sugar, salt cure, and preservatives.

The mixture is smoked before being packaged or canned.

Pork roll has a very distinctive taste and texture from other types of ham.

Though it can be eaten raw, it’s often quickly cooked by pan-frying and served with eggs or cheese on toast for breakfast, which is super quick for busy people.

What is bologna?

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Bologna is a type of processed meat that can be found in most grocery stores.

It is named after the city where it was first created, Bologna, Italy.

Originally made with beef, this food product has evolved over time to include pork or turkey.

It can be made from a single kind of meat or a mixture of two or more.

Additionally, bologna also contains water, modified corn starch, salt, soy protein isolate, potassium lactate, sugar, other spices, and preservatives.

The average bologna sandwich contains about 400 calories and 20 grams of fat.

Bologna is also known under several names, such as parizer, polony, devon, and fritz in different regions.

What are the differences between pork roll vs bologna?

Pork roll and bologna differ in many ways, and the comparison table below will break their differences into pieces so that you can easily compare pork roll and bologna and choose your favored one.

 ComparisonPork rollBologna
OriginThe United StatesItaly
Main ingredientCan only be made from ground pork shoulderCan be made from either ground pork, beef, turkey, or a mixture of two kinds of meat
TasteTaste like bacon but saltier and fattier, less smoky and hammyHave a tangy and smoky flavor

What are the similarities between pork roll vs bologna?

So besides the key differences between pork roll and bologna that have been mentioned above, they share some similarities, which can almost be found in other canned food products.

1. They are both high in sodium

Pork roll and bologna are processed meat, which is cured with different spices and preservatives before being packaged.

Although these additives keep this kind of meat stay longer without being spoiled by a variety of bad bacteria, the high amount of sodium and other preservatives are not ideal for your health.

Pork roll and bologna taste great and are super convenient for a hearty breakfast, but they shouldn’t be treated as the every-day-food, especially for those who are on a healthy diet.

2. They can be used interchangeably in many recipes

Despite the slight difference in their flavor and texture, pork rolls and bologna can be great substitutes for each other.

They can be served as cold slices for your sandwich, or pan-fried before consumption.

All these recipes are delicious to eat at any time of the day.

3. Pork roll and bologna have a long lifespan

Also, thanks to the presence of preservatives and the cooking method before canning, pork roll and bologna can last long.

They can even stay good for up to several months if properly stored.

However, once you open the can of pork roll or bologna, you need to cover the contents or transfer them to another airtight container and keep them in the fridge or freezer.

Which one is better?

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So in short, pork roll and bologna are totally different, from their origins to their tastes.

We hope this article has helped you understand the true distinctions between these two kinds of processed meat although they may look similar at the first glance.

To determine if pork roll or bologna is better actually depends on where you live, which affects your eating habit, your taste bud preference, and the dish you are cooking.

Keep in mind that pork roll and bologna are amazing to consume occasionally, but they are not healthy options in the long term.

So which one seems better for you just right now? Let us know in the comments below.