I mentioned several times that, although my wife is not Pennsylvania Dutch, she grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country predominated primarily by Mennonites. Her childhood food memories have a large PA Dutch food component.
This time, as she was browsing through the many catalogs we receive, especially around Christmas she found “Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet Lebanon Bologna” in the Vermont Country Store catalog. She said she had not tasted this since her childhood and promptly ordered it. In her excitement she decided to share her find with her siblings who also live far away from PA Dutch country. So she ordered some for them too. When it arrived, she told me I just had to try this traditional (so I was told) sandwich featuring the bologna on pumpernickel bread.
Since we do not have traditional “Bread and Butter” pickles, she used my Japanese-style cucumber pickles.
Here is how my wife made her beloved sandwich from her childhood. First, she has to use Pa-Dutch style Lebanon (which is named after a county called Lebanon, PA, not the country located in the middle east) Bologna (#1). She is particularly fond of a “sweet” variety shown here. Second, the bread has to be Pumpernickel bread. She lightly toasted it and let it cool down before assembling (#2) with sharp cheddar cheese slices and pickled cucumber. Since we did not have “Bread and Butter” cucumber pickles, she substituted with my Japanese-style pickled cucumber (#2)
The bread slices were generously smeared with mayo and “two” slices (I said one and half will cover the bread but was told that you do not do one and half) of the Lebanon Bologna were placed (#3). Slices of cheddar cheese and pickled cucumber went next (#4). This was capped by another slice of the Pumpernickel (with mayo smeared as well) and cut in half and served (First two pictures).
This was a rather nice sandwich. I have to admit it has a pleasant unique taste which I have never had before. My wife was in heaven. Beer anyone?
P.S. We have a funny follow-up. My wife somehow imagined that she would receive a “log” of Bologna especially as it was rather pricey but she received two 8oz packages (which was exactly as listed in the catalog). The next time I went to the local grocery store I was curious to see if they just might carry the Lebanon bologna my wife just bought or something similar. I looked and immediately I found the very same packages of Lebanon Bologna by Seltzer’s and it was orders of magnitude cheaper even excluding the shipping cost than what my wife had paid. We are sure this has been available all along but we never looked for it. My wife was a bit chagrined particularly when she took into account the additional expenses she incurred by sending it to her sibs. We had a good laugh nonetheless. She is actually glad to discover that she can have 10 packages from the local grocery store for the cost of one mail order any time she wants.