Meat+Poultry - August 2020 - 27

Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats; Alderfer's/Leidy's; Seltzer's Smokehouse Meats; Godshall's Quality Meats

Bologna in the traditional way, in 12 outdoor
wooden smokehouses, each 30-foot tall, over
hand-tended fi res - the wood coming from a
local lumberyard. Each smokehouse can hold
over 15,000 lbs of meat. The smoking process
takes two to three days. At Seltzer's, the meat
fermentation process uses lactic acid as a
starter culture.
"In the darkened smokehouses, billows of
smoke pervade spiced logs of aged beef," said
Austin Wagoner, a fourth-generation member
of the Seltzer family and vice president of
operations for the company.
The company makes five different varieties
of Lebanon Bologna - from very smoky to
sweet. Jason Heilman, who is the company's
marketing manager, said Seltzer's Lebanon
Bologna is mostly sold in the Northeast United
States, but also as far away as Fort Worth,
Texas, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle.
The product is believed to have been
invented in the 1700s by Pennsylvania
Germans who largely settled the area,
possibly adopting the product style from
German and summer sausages. Originally it
was a regional specialty, then spread to New
Jersey and Delaware. Most of the bologna
was originally sold within 200 miles of
Lebanon County, Pa. But now, consumers
in other parts of the country have gotten
interested in this meat treat. However, it is
made only by a few processors in Eastern
Pennsylvania. Each of the companies making
it follow their own style - with different
spices, for example. So, bologna from one
company does not taste exactly like the
bologna from another.
"I've taken it to trade shows and the people
there love it," Heilman said. He thinks there's
an increasing interest in this meat product all
over the United States. "We have fans all over
the country, and we do our best to sell it in as
many places as possible."
The company's goal, Wagoner said, has
been to transfer Lebanon Bologna from a
regional food to a product with much more
mass appeal.
"There is an interesting dynamic going
on with this," he said. "Many people want
to return to local foods, craft foods. We
are as local and 'craft' as you can get. We
buy our meat from local processors and
local farmers."

Ron Godshall, president of Godshall's
Quality Meats, who owns two brands in
Lebanon County, in Eastern Pennsylvania,
that make the sausage product, said,
"Lebanon Bologna is a type of cured, smoked,
and fermented semi-dry sausage made
of beef."
The taste for the bologna seems to be
spreading. "So many people have migrated
from this area all over the country, they take
this with them, and new people want to try it,"
Godshall said.
Godshall owns two Lebanon Bologna
makers that originally operated on their own
- the Daniel Weaver Company and Kutztown
Bologna - both based in Lebanon County.
"You can compare Lebanon Bologna to
summer sausage, although it has a distinctive
'tangy' flavor, more so than other fermented
meat products," Godshall said.
Some people think it is similar in
appearance and texture to salami, although
it is somewhat darker in color than salami.
It is typically served as a "cold cut" or
appetizer.
"It's all beef, no other meat in it, very
lean and fermented close to shelf-stable,
but it is not a shelf-stable product,"
Godshall explained.
The product is basically made from
beef and spices, with its unique flavor
derived from wood-chip smoking.

"I would
describe
Lebanon
Bologna
consumers as
a dedicated
following - the
people who
like it are very
devoted to it."
- GREG LOMBARDI

BOLOGNA PIONEER
Weaver's is thought to be the fi rst
company to make the beef product.
The business dates back 135 years,
opening in 1885. Godshall said his
company acquired Weaver's 15 years
ago because it ran out of space in
Telford, the Godshall's main operations
center, where most production is devoted
to poultry and specialty meats.
Four years before that, Godshall's
acquired Kutztown Bologna, after the
Kutztown plant burned down. Godshall
moved it to the same site in Lebanon
County where the Daniel Weaver
Company is located. Jerry Landuyt,
former head of the Kutztown Company,
became operations director at Weaver's.
Both companies are really operated
together, although each product has its
www.meatpoultry.com | 08.20 | MEAT+ POULTRY

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