A Sandwich a Day: Muffuletta from Central Grocery in New Orleans
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
In New Orleans, the muffuletta is a sandwich that's made on a round, disc-like sesame bread filled with cured meats, marinated olives, and pickled vegetables. Though you can buy mufffulettas at any number of places in the city, it all began at Central Grocery in the French Quarter, where it came about as a way for Sicilians to combine the separate ingredients of their meal.
Central Grocery, a great place for fine Italian foodstuffs, sells the muffuletta by the round ($14) or half-round ($7.50), both of which come in their signature white paper wrappers. Two very hungry eaters should be able to put away the whole round, though my friend and I were full after sharing the halfer.
The loaf is chock full of marinated olives and lightly pickled vegetables: little florets of cauliflower and carrots (among other vegetables), then layered with salami, capicola, pepperoni, ham, and thick slices of provolone and emmentaler cheese.
A muffuletta, without a doubt, is one of the best combinations of sandwich parts. The meats and cheese are what you might find in any type of Italian submarine-style sandwich, but the marinated olives and whole pickled vegetables, all held steady by a sesame bread with a texture similar to focaccia, is unbeatable. Some of the juices from the olives and vegetable seep into the bread, making it a chewy delight.
923 Decatur Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70116 (map); 504-523-1620