What is a muffuletta anyway? Our first day in New Orleans introduced us to the muffuletta sandwich, a NOLA specialty that is served on a large, round loaf of Sicilian bread. The inside meat and cheeses sometimes vary, but the marinated olive salad is always a staple ingredient. It is usually made with green olives, pimientos, celery, garlic, cocktail onions, capers, oregano, parsley, olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt and pepper, which is chopped together to make a spreadable mixture. The muffuletta we sampled has ham, genoa salami, pastrami, swiss cheese, provolone cheese, and housemade Italian olive salad.
The muffuletta was “invented” by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant, and served at Central Grocery in 1906. You can still visitCentral Grocery at 923 Decatur Street in the French Quarter.
A great restaurant to taste test a muffuletta is the Napoleon House, also located in the French Quarter. As you walk into the Napoleon House, it is almost as if you are entering Europe. The waiters all wear white button-up shirts and black slacks, the building has tall, crumbling ceilings that show its history, and the courtyard is enclosed from the chaos of the French Quarter, featuring a fountain and potted plants. If you order the infamous sandwich, beware - a full sandwich can easily serve 3-4 people (the menu claims that it serves two, but I beg to differ). Order a pims (a gin and lemonade cocktail garnished with a cucumber), to accompany your meal - it will certainly help to cool you off in the summer.
Need help in the pronunciation? “moo-foo-LET-ta.”