Have you ever heard of Trail Bologna? We used to think everyone had. Passers-through never seemed to be able to get enough of it. But then we realized that it was only available in the local area. We have seen imitations in places like California and New Jersey with clever names like “Ring Bologna.” But this is a perfect example of one of those cases where nothing even comes close to the original: Troyer’s Trail Bologna.
Trail is capitalized because it is named after the tiny town of Trail, Ohio. Trail is so small that it does not even have it’s own zip code. It shares a zip code with the nearby town of Dundee, OH, and population statistics are not even available. Trail was so named because SR 515, the main road through the town, was originally a trail created by American Indians before the European settlers moved to the area. About the only thing in Trail Ohio today is the original production facility where Troyer’s Trail Bologna is made, complete with a general store where enthusiasts can buy all of the products Troyer’s offers, along with other local fare.
Michael Troyer began producing this bologna in 1912. He used a special blend of seasonings and a unique wood smoking process to develop this chunky beef bologna with a rich smoky flavor. It was originally hand stuffed into casing and rolled into its hallmark “ring” shape. It is a common misconception that the Original Trail Bologna was made from Venison (deer meat). It is illegal to sell the meat of wild game, so the Original Trail Bologna is all beef. But the facility will process deer brought in by hunters using their unique methods. There is also a rumor that Michael Troyer purchased his recipe for $25 from another family in Trail named Weiss, who had already been producing the now famous bologna for some time. But that has never been confirmed.
Today, Kenny, Kevin, and Darrin Troyer run the facility with the same standard of quality that their great grandfather did nearly one hundred years ago. Of course the facility has evolved. The Trail Bologna is no longer hand stuffed and modern machinery has enabled them to keep up with the ever-increasing demand. The facility now produces an average of 50 tons of Trail Bologna per month, doubling that during the holiday season. But the standard of quality that made Troyer’s Trail Bologna famous has never faltered. All three brothers are still highly involved with the production process. They now offer their Trail Bologna infused with locally made cheddar cheese and hot pepper cheese. They also produce it in sandwich size logs suitable for slicing and enjoying on sandwiches. They even make a Turkey Trail Bologna for their more health conscious customers.
Troyer’s Trail Bologna is best enjoyed with Swiss Cheese, Baby Swiss Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, or Hot Pepper Cheese for those with a more daring palate. Local and tourist taste buds are intimately familiar with the unique flavor of Troyer’s Trail Bologna. Locals who move out of state often complain that they cannot find it anywhere else. It can be very difficult to find outside of the state of Ohio. Fortunately however, for those who are web-savvy, one local merchant is offering it nationwide over the internet at http://www.cheesehouse.com/troyers-trail-bologna.aspx
Enjoy the smoky flavor of Troyer’s Trail Bologna, an Ohio Amish Country original!