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The Blessed Bologna: Lebanon County's Greatest Export

A Popular Treat from Pennsylvania

Lebanon County offers plenty to see and do if you’re coming for a visit, but if you’ve never been here, the name may still ring familiar. Lebanon County is home to the popular Lebanon Bologna you can find in delis nationwide.

Is it bologna or salami? Maybe a little bit of both. Seltzer’s Lebanon Bologna is a staple in the Pennsylvania Dutch community, and its amazing flavor made it a favorite among deli meat lovers.

Step 1: Start with one piece of Lebanon Bologna.

Step 1: Start with one piece of Lebanon Bologna.

What Makes Lebanon Bologna Unique?

When most people think of bologna, they think of a pork product and names like Oscar Meyer. They popularized a song about bologna in the seventies, and it was stuck in everybody’s head. But if you placed Oscar Meyer’s bologna next to Seltzer’s, you’d be confused. The name is similar, but the taste and style of meat is different.

In fact, Seltzer’s bologna is made with 100% beef. Founded in 1902, Seltzer’s Lebanon Bologna has been around for quite a long time. The Pennsylvania Dutch community has a strong presence in the Lebanon Valley region and other areas of the state. While the original smoked meat started the trend, today’s market demands new flavors, and Seltzer’s doesn’t disappoint. In fact, now you can even find Sweet Chipotle Lebanese Bologna! There’s smoked, sweet, and flavored styles, but when it comes to Lebanon Bologna, most people think of the original.
One of the unique qualities of this deli meat is that it’s almost got a salami vibe with old world flavoring that speaks of consistency. While other companies now make a Lebanon style bologna, it’s Seltzer’s who is the biggest producer of the product which is distributed nationwide.

The bologna is wood smoked, and combined with curing techniques and spice recipes, they created a unique product that resonated with shoppers.

Step 2: Fold the piece in half then fold the piece in half again.

Step 2: Fold the piece in half then fold the piece in half again.

Step 3: Bite off the tip to your liking.

Step 3: Bite off the tip to your liking.

Some Other Fine Lebanon County Attractions

While on the topic of Lebanon, it would be hard not to mention a few other points of interest. South Centrally located in Pennsylvania, you’ll sometimes hear the area referred to as Lebanon Valley. It offers the charm of small-town living, but also a variety of activities such as lush parks, golf courses, dining, shopping, and popular attractions.

It’s just a stone’s throw from Lancaster’s Amish community, a hop and a skip from the popular Hershey Park, offers a large convention center and fair ground facility, and is driving distance to Gettysburg in Adams County.

Something unique to the area is the Wolf Sanctuary of PA. This sanctuary and learning center help provide a safe home for both gray wolves and wolf dogs, before they become extinct. With over 80 acres and a natural habitat, they offer the wolves a safe-haven while teaching the public about this four-legged warrior. There are tours available, from shorter visits to special longer trips for photographers. They also offer public and private tours.

If you love history, be sure to check out the Cornwall Iron Furnace, which is part of the National Historic Landmark District. According to their website, “Cornwall Iron Furnace is the only surviving intact charcoal cold blast furnace in the Western Hemisphere.”

Thursday through Saturday, you can experience the Lebanon Farmers Market. You’ll be able to find a nice array of smoked meats, cheese, wine, and all sorts of goodies.

Step 4: Unfold to see a hollowed out piece of Lebanon bologna.

Step 4: Unfold to see a hollowed out piece of Lebanon bologna.

In the days of my youth this was one of my favorite ways to eat Lebanon bologna.

The Great Outdoors in Lebanon County

If you love the outdoors, be sure to visit the hiking trails at Memorial Park at Governor Dick. In 2019, they completed an ADA-accessible trail, so be sure to add that to your list! Per their website, “The boardwalk is accessible for anyone with limited mobility or using a wheelchair and is for foot travel only. Bikes are prohibited.”

One other point of mention is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which has a long history. The gorgeous stonework is a treat for those who love architecture. See it for yourself on 6th Street in Lebanon.

With plenty to do and see, be sure to stop by Lebanon and experience it for yourself.  And, of course, don't forget to pack plenty of Lebanon Bologna sandwiches.  

What better to show your love for Lebanon County's greatest export than wearing it.  The Pennsylvania T-Shirt has T-Shirts, Hoodies and more featuring a stylish Lebanon Bologna graphic. These pieces are guaranteed conversation starters.  

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