Muffuletta- The New Orleans Sandwich
Wikipedia is the place I first turned to when Debbie of JGumbo’s announced that she was going to serve a Muffuletta at the restaurant. I had no idea what a Muffuletta was… it certainly does not sound cajun to my ears….. sounds arabic and it is really Sicilian in origin. The Cajuns simply borrowed that idea and internalized it until it became an effective Cajun menu item.
A muffuletta is a large, round, and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture, around 10 inches (25 cm) across. It is described as being somewhat similar to focaccia. Bread used for the muffuletta is different from focaccia, however, in that it is a very light bread, the outside is crispy, and the inside is soft. It also has no additional seasonings baked into it, aside from the sesame seeds. The bread is more like French bread, but slightly heavier.
A traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. The sandwich is sometimes heated to soften the provolone. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.
The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours.
A muffuletta is usually served cold, but many vendors will toast it. This was mentioned in the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like.
In Greater New Orleans there is a seafood sandwich which uses the muffuletta bread to contain fried seafood, often including oysters, shrimp, catfish and occasionally softshell crab. The seafood muffuletta excludes the olive salad in exchange for the traditional dressings of a seafood po’boy, such as melted butter and pickle slices, or mayonnaise and lettuce.” Wikipedia 2016
The sandwich is made on the Muffuletta bread…. I have posted that recipe. The preparation requires a Muffuletta olive spread. The spread is also included in the recipe list on this site. Salami, Bologna and provolone cheese is placed between the olive spread on the bread. It tastes great…and is very high in calories. Let’s make a Muffuletta Sandwich.
6 tbsp Muffuletta Olive Spread (recipe found on this site)
3 slices Bologna
2 slices Provolone cheese
3 slices thin cut Italian Salami
1 loaf Muffuletta Bread (recipe found on this site)
Slice the round Muffuletta Roll you have prepared as to make your slices of bread
Apply 3 ea tbsp of olive spread to each half of the bread
Place a slice of provolone cheese on each bread half
Place salami and bologna on one side of the bread
Use the other half of the bread to top the half that has the meat
Slice in squares and properly arrange on plate.
The salty taste of the bread and the texture of the Italian meats is very good. I have found that waiting a bit to serve the sandwich as the oil from the olive spread moves deep into the bread….just makes the eating experience all the much better. Thank you Debbie…. what can I say….it is a great and very different sandwich. I will enjoy it over and over. See you at JGumbo’s in Clifton area of Louisville KY….where you can now find the Muffuletta sandwich.