The Bologna Cookbook

What inspires someone to write a whole cookbook on a tried and true staple in everyone’s fridge growing up?  And how many recipes can a person develop to substantiate a whole book on the subject?  Why Kevin Phillips of course.  After spending time in the military, Kevin came home to his native Newfoundland and started exploring original and lost local recipes…and one ingredient kept cropping up: bologna.  With encouragement from the media and a publisher, Kevin began developing this cookbook and eventually came up with over 400 recipes and had to cut it down to 200 dishes for the book…amazing!

It’s not surprising that a chef from Newfoundland would write this book as the island has historically consumed more bologna than any other province in Canada.  And although Maple Leaf has had a corner on the bologna market, local producers like Country Pride has jumped on this food’s popularity and is now successfully selling it by the truckload!

Proudly this book has accumulated some impressive recognition: #8 on the Globe and Mail (Cooking/Food) Bestseller List (September 20, 2014) Winner in the Canada – English Best Meat Cookbook category of the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Third-Place Finish in the Best Meat Cookbook category of the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

The big question on everyone’s mind about this food:  how did bologna become commonly referred to as baloney?  Bologna originated in the Italian city of Bologna and Europeans still refer to the meat as that.  The British pronounce it as “Buh-Lon-Yuh” while North Americans blur the pronunciation from “ah” to “ey”.  And since bologna has had different ingredients, the word baloney has had a reference to “nonsense”.  

So are the ingredients in bologna nonsense?  One source mentions that it’s a glorified hot dog in a larger form while Italians may refer to it as mortadella. While mortadella is a definitive pork meat, bologna can have many different meats with some references to “scraps” again inferring the meat is nonsense.  The difference between bologna and hot dogs are the different spices used for each.   

However you may call it, bologna has been used for many generations as a cheaper cut of meat usually in school lunches and quick fried dinners.  But this book proves it can be much more than that!  We tried the Breakfast Pizza in our Recipe section – check it out and try it.  

I asked Kevin what his favourite recipes in the book are:  Fried bologna, mashed potatoes, onion gravy and green peas; Bologna Stew; Fried eggs and bologna.  In fact this last recipe is still on many Maritime diners’ menus as well as Irving gas station restaurants.  Try it the next time you’re visiting down east.

I know you’ll want a copy of this book: who isn’t intrigued with a whole cookbook on bologna!  Purchase a copy at or go to our Giveaway section to win one of three autographed copies!

So what’s in store for Kevin Phillips?  I caught up with him in Oakville Ontario where he winters (and heads back to Newfoundland to enjoy the warmer temps at his cottage there).  He is working on two other cookbooks, one on a single ingredient again: cod.  Looks like a theme developing here Kevin!

Contents and images used with permission by Kevin Phillips and Flanker Press.