Welcome to Burning Questions, The Takeout’s video series in which we answer all your culinary quandaries and ponderings.

Bologna is a deli meat that millions of Americans slap between slices of bread every single day, though thinking too hard about what it actually is before we eat it might cause us to shudder and insist that some things are better left unknown. Really, though, it turns out that bologna is pretty straightforward, no more or less harrowing to hear about than the production of any other deli meat. We consulted expert sources to find out what exactly bologna is; if you’re tired of wondering, watch the video above. And if you’re still left with questions about America’s most mysterious meat, read the full investigation here.


Burners Baby Burners: Discussion Inferno

I dunno why, but I didn’t expect that voice to come out of the face in your avatar photo, Marnie.

Bologna is the lowest member of the lunchmeat pantheon, which no longer includes pimento loaf or head cheese as they have been demoted to “why is this a thing?” for most Americans. I have no affinity for bologna nor a deep hatred, but a few too many cold bologna sandwiches in childhood have left me with a wincing distaste for the stuff.

American bologna is the corporatization of food: make something cheaper and cheaper until it is the absolute lowest quality and most generic, amalgamated taste the market will bear; then do nothing about it for generations as your market slowly erodes from disinterest.