The Muffuletta - Coming 5/13

muffuletta cold sandwich

The Magic Behind the Muffuletta

There are endless varieties of the humble sandwich. From seriously complex versions like the croque madame to the simplicity of a peanut butter and jelly, the sandwich has worked its way into the hearts of many. While there are plenty of great ways to layer ingredients between bread, few have as interesting and historic a backstory as the New Orleans classic, the muffuletta.

What is a Muffuletta Sandwich?

A muffuletta sandwich is an Italian-esque creation hailing from this famous Louisiana city. It consists of Genoa salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, Swiss cheese, and the distinctive Italian olive salad; all sandwiched between a horizontally sliced round Italian bread. It is a delightful concoction that has become a widespread favorite in our culture.

A Blend of Cultures

Just like the sandwich with its delightful blend of unique ingredients, the history behind the muffuletta is based on a blending of cultures. In the early 1900s, immigrants from Sicily had begun to reside in New Orleans. These immigrants brought with them their distinctive traditions, including their delicious bounty of recipes.

The Sicilian immigrants arrived in the city with a flair for the culinary. The French Quarter’s booming food scene was certainly a boon to the creation of the muffuletta, as innovation and appreciation for food were everywhere.

This appreciation led to the establishment of many Italian and Sicilian bakeries or delis. Among the many types of bread on offer, the Sicilians baked a distinctive round bread, known as muffuletto. The establishment of muffoletto as a much-loved item was crucial in the development of the muffuletta.

Along with the many bakeries, immigrants set up grocers and markets throughout the city. One such grocer, Central Grocery Store, would be the birthplace of this iconic sandwich in 1906. The owner, Salvatore Lupo, noticed that many of his lunchtime customers would individually buy the ingredients of the sandwich now known as the muffuletta. They would eat them individually, though such an endeavor was often messy.

To help his customers keep things a bit tidier and for the sake of convenience, Salvatore decided to slice a loaf of muffuletto and layer the ingredients in the form of a sandwich. The response was an unambiguous “yes,” and the sandwich quickly spread throughout the city and, eventually, throughout the country.

Today, we are honored to be able to continue the tradition of the muffuletta using our fresh-baked, homemade focaccia (a distant cousin to the muffuletto). We find the history of the sandwich to be as rich as the taste, and we take great pride in our delicious and scratch-made recipe.