July 3, 2007
Let me begin by saying that I am not a fan of bologna.
I don't buy luncheon meats because I like my food to be processed as little as possible. That said, I am in the minority and there's lots of folks out there not giving up their bologna. I realized this when talking to a patient the other day and was admittedly at a loss to know whether there was an alternative.
Since Oscar Mayer is the name in B-O-L-O-G-N-A I looked at their products. Their 98% Fat Free Bologna made with turkey is plain and simple just that -- bologna. It's pretty difficult to tell the difference in a blind taste testing between this and regular bologna. The texture is the same the flavor the same and the price is pretty much the same.
I am sure that there are professional bologna tasters who could discern the difference ("Hmm... I detect notes of sage with a lemony finish"). I am not one of them, and considering that a slice of this stuff is only 25 calories, a half gram of fat and NO saturated fat, it's your B-O-L-O-G-N-A choice hands down.
Keep in mind that all bologna contains a fair amount of sodium at 240 - 300 mg per slice. This was true with the turkey product and the other two other Oscar Mayer products (hey if you're gonna test, test the gold standard).
A slice of regular bologna has a whopping 90 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat. Same thickness, same texture, same flavor as the one made with turkey. Their Beef Light Bologna is slightly thicker and in the blind tasting I thought it was the regular product because of this. It's lighter but still 60 calories, 4 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of saturated fat but still no difference in taste from the other two.
In case I might have not gotten the real essence of the bologna they were also tested in sandwiches (bread and light mayo only). Same result -- no difference.