Fried Bologna & Other Southern Sandwiches

Southern Plate is more than just me typing and chatting away. In fact, YOU are the most important part of With that in mind, I hope you’ll take time to leave a comment and share your favorite sandwich from your childhood. See bottom of this post for more details! Gratefully, Christy 🙂 bologna 003

When my mama was a girl they had a tradition of going out riding through the countryside on Sunday afternoons. They’d stop off at a little store to have thick slices of bologna cut off and made into bologna and cheese sandwiches. Pair that with a bottled drink and they were living high on the hog! “There just wasn’t anything like getting to ride in that car and look out the window while you ate a bologna sandwich!”.

This treat was passed down to my generation when we often sat down for lunch with a big loaf of bread and a stack of cheese slices in the middle of the table while Mama fried up bologna in a skillet. We’d each make our own sandwich and I’d make mine just like my brother did: Fried bologna, cheese, and potato chips settled in between two pieces of “loaf bread”.

Bologna sandwiches, sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s steak”, are such a part of our culture, they’re even used to gauge a person’s character. On the day we got married, my husband’s best man, Jim, had driven in a ways and was planning on staying overnight before heading back. He stayed with my Grandmother, who lived across the road from what was to be our new home. It had been quite a day with the wedding and reception and that evening Grandmama and Jim went out on her porch to relax and look out over the river.

For supper, Grandmama made the two of them bologna sandwiches.

To Grandmama, Jim and my husband represented a new generation, with a huge divide between folks her age and them. Grandmama had grown up dirt poor and picking cotton all of her life and here was this young man newly graduated from college with an engineering degree whose experience with her world had been nothing more than glancing at the cotton as the car went by. Its sometimes a little intimidating for folks who come from such humble backgrounds in situations like this, but when Jim accepted that bologna sandwich, it spoke volumes to Grandmama about the type of person he was at heart. Even now whenever he is mentioned she always chimes, in,

“That Jim is just a real good boy, he sat out there on the porch and ate a bologna sandwich with me”.

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To make the sandwich from my childhood you’ll need: Bread, cheese, mayo…

bologna 007and potato chips 🙂

My brother taught me the wonders of a potato chip sandwich over thirty years ago.

I think it almost made up for him cutting the entire side of my hair off a few years later.

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Now we have to fry out bologna. I always cut a slit halfway through to keep it from curling up into a bowl as it fries.

I prefer Zeigler bologna because it is made in Alabama. I try to buy as close to home as I can because last thing we want is to end up relying on a company halfway across the country for our food supplies. I think it’s best to support local suppliers to ensure that you have local suppliers. Zeigler’s has been around for over seventy five years. Their main plant is in Tuscaloosa and our own highly respected Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was once an owner of the company as well.

Reminder to all: I am not into football but Alabamians take their football very seriously.

So whatever team you are for, GO THEM!

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You don’t need to spray your pan or anything, just put your bologna in it and cook it on medium, turning after it browns on one side. Some folks like there is just barely heated but I actually like a wee bit of black on mine 🙂

Note to myself: You use the word “actually” too much, stop it. Now. Seriously.


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Oh lawd, that’s some good eatin’!

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I always smoosh it a bit to crunch the chips down some 🙂

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Grandmama, I’m a real good girl because I still eat bologna sandwiches!

A few posts back we got into a comment discussion on strange sandwich combinations we grew up on. It was a fascinating comment section and we all really got a hoot out of reading it. I’d like to devote this comment section to those sandwiches. What did you grow up on? What brands do you insist on and why?

Mayonaise sandwich? Mustard sandwich? PB and banana? Tell us all about it! Also, why do you think Southerners eat such strange sandwich combinations-ketchup sandwich, anyone?

I think it is due to lack of food. When food was scarce, you could put something between two slices of bread, call it a sandwich and then it suddenly seemed like a meal. What do you think?

If there is anything else you wanna talk about in the comments section, feel free to do that, too.

See someone else’s comment you wanna reply to? Go right ahead!

I consider this to be my big old porch and we’re all just a standing around visiting with each other.

Y’all keep the conversation going and I’ll keep the tea glasses filled!

We’re all family here anyways. 🙂

“The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”

Submitted by Rebecca Hall. To submit your quote or read more, please click here.

I just love getting new positive quotes so thank you in advance!

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  1. I love butter n muztard sandwiches. Prob first ate it out of necessity but eat them now bc theyre delish!

  2. If it hadn’t been for bologna, us kids would have missed a lot of great sandwiches. Sometimes we used ketchup and mustard on them and other times it was miracle whip and always with cheese. Dad always bought the chunk of bologna unsliced with the wrapper on it as it was cheaper. I don’t remember the brand. We had a big garden and would also put a big slice of fresh tomato on them when available. We ate our share of fried bologna sandwiches too. I still eat them quite often. My dad would take a (homemade)chicken salad sandwich and a peanut butter mixed with light karo syrup sandwich in his lunch everyday to work. Mom would make fresh chicken salad every Sunday for his lunches. I also love a tomato sandwich with a big slice of fresh garden tomato and miracle whip only on white bread. Chicken salad with tomato or tuna salad with tomato also was some of our favorite sandwiches too. Peanut butter with marshmallow creme is a great one to eat on toasted bread!

  3. I think you are right, lack of food makes you get creative! When I first moved out and was on my own at a young age of 18 I found myself in that situation a lot. I concocted what I call my Doritos and mayonnaise sandwich. It is exactly what it sounds like, white bread mayonnaise and a bunch of Doritos crunched in the middle.
    It’s actually pretty excellent! LOL whenever I bring it up and tell people about it, especially my husband, they laugh and give me a weird look of disgust! Don’t knock it till you try it, I tell them!

  4. Oh my goodness Ms. Jordan, my mouth is watering just reading this. I grew up in Alabama but have lived in Wisconsin for the past 24 years. Great place for raising a family, not so much for good ‘ol southern cookin’…I’m heading right out after work and picking up the thick cut bologna that you have to peel the red off…a loaf of “Wonder Bread” and a big ‘ol jar of mayonnaise (has to be Hellmans)….I’m gonna fry it up and have some fried baloney sandwiches this evening! My wife is gonna look at me like I’ve gone crazy but I’ll be in heaven!

  5. Tomato and onion sandwiches! Ripe summer tomatoes and thinly sliced crisp onion slices liberally salted and peppered on bread slathered with mayonnaise.

  6. As a child I loved creamy PB (had to be Jiff) with banana and crisp bacon slices on fresh, fluffy white bread all washed down by a large glass of ice cold orange juice!! oh yum as I grew a little older I loved cold bologna and butter sandwiches made on fresh fluffy white bread (had one tonight). My mother grew up on cold mashed potato and butter sandwiches and my dad enjoyed a thick slice of yellow onion on buttered white bread. Funny the things people call good.

  7. –Crunchy peanut butter and butter on white, Italian, or rye
    –Thick sliced garden tomatoes with bologna and Miracle Whip on rye
    –Crisp iceberg lettuce and Miracle Whip on white
    –Chicken salad, homemade with white chicken meat, celery, and Miracle Whip ONLY on rye or Italian
    –Crunchy peanut butter and banana on rye, not fried and nothing else
    –Slab of bottom round roast chilled overnight on rye with Miracle Whip
    –Leftover turkey breast with Miracle Whip on toasted Italian
    –Grilled ham lunch meat and cheese on rye (sweet pickles as a bonus)
    –Pimento cheese on Italian, no crusts

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