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Muffaletta - Napoleon House
Muffaletta - Napoleon House

The Muffaletta

A sandwich made of cured meats, cheese & olive salad

What is a muffaletta?

Pronounced: “muff-uh-LOT-uh”

A muffaletta is a famous italian sandwich invented in New Orleans with cured meats (ham and salami), provolone cheese, olive dressing and great bread. The olive dressing sports chopped green and black olives with onions and olive oil and spices, and the bread is a round sesame-seed roll big enough for sharing. It has become a quintessential must-try food when visiting New Orleans.

Rebecca Todd
Cochon Butcher

Who invented the muffaletta?

Sicilians have been moving to New Orleans since the 1800s, and bringing flavorful Italian dishes with them. One sicilian in particular, Lupo Salvadore, opened Central Grocery in 1906 in the French Quarter, and with it, introduced the muffaletta. Located across the street from the French Market, Lupo noticed Sicilians shopping for various ingredients found on the sandwich and trying to put them together in a mess. He decided to do it for them and sold the muffaletta in his shop. He created his own recipe for the olive salad that made the sandwich incredibly popular.

Where do I get the best muffaletta?

Central Grocery is still open today, serving the original muffaletta recipe on Decatur Street. It is a must try for the most authentic sandwich. Several other restaurants have added the muffaletta to their menu and can be found below.

Muffaletta Recipe

Sandwich Ingredients
  • Italian Bread: round, sesame seed
  • Jar of Olive Salad from Central Grocery (to make your own, see below) 
  • ¼ pound of mortadella
  • ¼ pound of ham
  • ¼ pound of hard Genoa salami
  • ¼ pound of Mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ pound of Provolone cheese
Olive Salad Ingredients
  • 1 pound of pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1 pound of large Green black olives
  • 2 large pepperoncini, drained and left whole
  • 4 pickled onions
  • 4 tablespoons of capers
  • 1 head of minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 quart of pickled cauliflower, drained and sliced
  • 1 whole stalk of celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Crisco oil
Olive Salad Directions

Drain the olives, giardinieri, pepperoncini, onions and capers. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Pour into a large jar and pour half olive oil and half crisco oil into the jar. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. 

Muffaletta Directions

Cut the bread in half and spread olive salad generously on each side. Place meats and cheeses on bottom half and cover. Cut the sandwich in quarters. 

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