Cutty's Week, Day 4: The Spuckies
Welcome to Cutty's Week! Every day this week, we'll be writing about a sandwich from Cutty's, one of our favorite sandwich shops in Boston. Proprietor and chef Charles Kelsey has been kind enough to donate the recipes for his one-of-a-kind creations.
Previously on Cutty's Week
The Spuckie ($4.10/half, $7.95/whole) is the only sandwich on the menu with a real history, Kelsey says. Originally when he was dreaming up his business, he'd envisioned a muffaletta truck. Sometime after the truck plan evolved into a brick-and-mortar op, the muffaletta turned into the Spuckie, South Boston's take on the Big Easy classic.
There are a few key differences between the North and South iterations, starting with the protein.
"It took me a while to get the meat right for this one," Kelsey says, noting that he skipped the ham and finally settled on a blend of imported finocchiona (a fennel-scented salami), mortadella, and hot capicola.
His hand-stretched mozzarella replaces the drier provolone, and instead of a soft, sesame-seeded round loaf, he goes with a crusty ciabatta. Rather than load up the bread with the kitchen-sink-style pickled vegetable salad native to the Nola version, the Spuckie has a more minimalist (but perfectly balanced) olive-carrot salad. And one last recent revision: To pick up the flavors just a bit more, he finishes the sandwich with a drizzle of Chilean Olave extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
One other major difference: The sandwich is available vegetarian! Purists, don't balk. The roasted eggplant version ($3.95/half, $7.85/whole), which retains the cheese and salad, is just as good; some Cutty's regulars will even tell you it's better. Besides, with all those salty, rich flavors soaking into the bread, this sandwich is a hero either way.
About the authors: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Associate Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances for a number of Boston publications. Mari Levine is a culinary school grad and an online editor at a national food magazine.