Muffuletta Sandwich - History of Muffuletta Sandwich
These sandwiches can be found all over New Orleans from delis to pool halls and the corner grocery stores. It is an Sicilian sandwich that consists of a round loaf of bread (about 10 inches across) filled with Italian salami, olive salad, cheese, Italian ham, and freshly minced garlic. The key ingredient is the olive salad which gives the sandwich its special flavor and makes it appealing to the eye. A true Muffuletta Sandwich must always be served at room temperature, never toasted; it is considered blasphemy to heat the sandwich.
The Italian Market, the Central Grocery on Decatur Street, claims to have invented this sandwich in 1906. Italian immigrant, Signor Lupo Salvatore, owner of the Central Grocery, started making the sandwiches for the men who worked the nearby wharves and produce stalls of the French Market. The sign over the covered sidewalk proudly proclaims, home of The Original Muffuletta.
Marie Lupo Tusa, daughter of the The Central Grocery's founder, tells the story of the sandwich's origin in her 1980 cookbook, Marie's Melting Pot:
To this day, tourists and locals line up at both stores out into the street, waiting
for their sandwiches. Muffulettas are more than just sandwiches, they're a tourist
attraction, especially during Mardi Gras.
1 round loaf
or Italian-style bread, 10-inch in diameter*
* Italian bread may be substituted. Check out my Muffuletta Bread recipe.
Make Muffuletta Bread and make Olive Salad.
Cut bread in half crosswise (lengthwise) and scoop out about half of the soft dough from top and bottom pieces (this is to provide more room for the sandwich ingredients). Brush the inside bottom of loaf with olive oil or juice from the Olive Salad marinade.
Layer salami, Italian ham and Provolone cheese on the bottom piece.
Top with as much Olive Salad as will fit without spilling out. Add top of loaf and press down slightly.
Slice in quarters and serve. Always serve the Muffuletta Sandwich at room temperature, never toasted.
Makes 1 to 4 servings (depending your the appetite).
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and then allow the flavors to mingle for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
Store, covered, in the
refrigerator until ready to use.