The Variations Outside Tradition
Like with most signature New Orleans creations, opinions run strong when it comes to any deviation from the tradition. Some maintain that muffuletta is a cold-cut sandwich, period. Others had been serving it hot, like the James Beard Award-winning chef Donald Link, owner of Cochon Butcher. Yet others offer it hot AND cold .
Liuzzas Restaurant & Bar in Mid-City also popularized the Frenchuletta, a muffuletta version served on French bread. PIZZA domenica, the Uptown spin-off of Domenicas downtown location, has muffuletta pizza with provolone, cured meats, pickled vegetables, olives, and garlic aioli.
There are seafood versions, like the one sold at Parrans Po-Boys & Restaurant, which has locations in Metairie and Kenner. Parrans Original Seafood Muffuletta comes with fried oysters, shrimp and catfish, and is dressed with housemade Cajun mayo.
Then theres the muffuletta King Cake from Cartozzos Bakery in Kenner, with grated Romano cheese dyed in Mardi Gras colors and sprinkled on top of the savory King Cake ring . Some call the non-traditional versions blasphemy others say theyre not muffulettas but something else.
Best Muffulettas In The French Quarter And Nearby
One of New Orleans most celebrated creations is a tall, bready Sicilian-Cajun invention that reflects the citys diverse cultural and culinary heritage. The muffuletta goes back to the 19th century, when the French Quarter was sometimes referred to as Little Palermo, and its Sicilian working-class population consisted of laborers, dockworkers, fishermen, and farmers. A few of the immigrants opened grocery stores and bakeries and catered to the Sicilians who lived and worked in the Quarter and parts of Treme.
Ingredients For Olive Salad
- red wine vinegar
- spices, salt and pepper *optional
Olives I love the Castelvetrano olives the best but if you cant find them then just use all large green olives.
Cherry Peppers You can find these in a jar in the pickle section. If you cant find these then use banana peppers. They are the closest.
Piquillo Peppers These are also in the pickle section but you can use roasted red peppers if you need to. Peppadew peppers are also a great substitute!
Capers Drain them first but do not rinse!
Garlic Fresh is best and chopped fine but feel free to use jarred minced garlic if you have it on hand.
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Whats In A Muffuletta
Muffuletta comes from the bread known in Sicily under that name. Traditionally, the sandwich is made with sesame-crusted wheel of bread, Italian salami and ham, cheese , and olive salad. The olive salad consists of finely chopped green and black olives, celery, cauliflower, carrots, sweet peppers, pepperoncini, onions, capers, vinegar, and garlic. Spices and herbs are also added .
Central Grocery’s Olive Salad 32oz
Central Grocery is the Home of the Original Muffuletta. Located on Decatur Street in the middle of New Orleans French Quarter, they are a third generation, old-fashioned grocery store founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who is famous for creating the muffuletta. Lined with shelves stocked with imported pasta and olive oil as the aroma of cured pork and aged cheeses fill the air, the shop hasnt changed over the years. They always make their muffulettas with meats sliced in house, locally baked handmade bread and THIS the familys Italian Olive Salad. Enjoy your own taste of New Orleans!
Unit Size: 32oz
Ingredients: Olives with Pimentos, Oil Blend , Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Kalamata Olives, Red Bell Peppers, Capers, Pepperoncini, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Garlic and Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Bisulfite and Yellow No. 5 as preservatives.
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About Central Grocery Muffulettas
Weve got muff-alotta love for this New Orleans sammie first created here at this tiny neighborhood Italian grocery store. Central Grocery first opened its doors in the heart of the French Quarter in 1906 and not much has changed since. Its first owner was Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian sandwich superhero who came up with the legendary muffuletta. The sandwich became an easier way to serve farmers who would stop by for a traditional Sicilian lunch where everything was eaten separately. Delicious, but not so great for portability #oldworldproblems. So Salvatore sliced open a whole loaf of his Sicilian sesame bread and stuffed everything inside.
Home Of The Original Muffuletta
Located on Decatur Street in the middle of New Orleans French Quarter, were a third generation, old-fashioned grocery store founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who is famous for creating the muffuletta.
Lined with shelves stocked with imported pasta and olive oil as the aroma of cured pork and aged cheeses fill the air, our shop hasnt changed over the years. Weve always made our muffulettas with meats sliced in house, locally baked handmade bread and our familys Italian Olive Salad. The store has remained in the same family for 3 generations, currently owned and operated by Tommy Tusa and Frank Tusa.
We are excited to announce that we have partnered with our friends at Goldbelly.com to ship muffulettas nationwide! So whether youre chowin down at the back counter of our shop or your couch at home, you can get a true taste of New Orleans.
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Review Of Central Grocery Company
Good for:Dining options:Neighborhood:The BEST muffuletta!
Every time we visit New Orleans, having a muffuletta at Central Grocery is a must. The sandwich is the perfect combination of olive salad/oil, meats and cheeses on THAT bread! Seriously, it reminds me of something that I’d eat in Italy! The atmosphere is the perfect setting for this sandwich and that’s just part of the reason we go back!
67 – 71 of 3,114 reviews
We have been hearing about this sandwich for years, and now I know why, it’s delicious and very filling. If you like olives you will LOVE the Muffaletta!
Great history here at the Central Grocery, home of the original Muffuletta but the sandwich was a bit of a let down. Sandwiches are pre-made and I found the bread to not be very fresh. Just about as good as eating a Jimmy John’s sandwich. I guess I don’t understand all the fuss except for the history behind the sandwich as this grocery.
We didnt know what to expect. We really liked the muffuletta I had no idea how big they were. My husband and I were going to share one so I ordered 1 not knowing, 1 would serve 4-6 people!! Needless to say, we enjoyed it for a few meals!! Most of the tour guides we encountered all agreed Central Grocery made the best Muffelatta.
What Is A Muffuletta Sandwich
What exactly is a muffuletta? A muffuletta is a deli sandwich topped with fresh olive salad. Its also made on a 9 round italian bread. The locals are very particular about where they buy their muffulettas. Personally, I love the ones from Central Grocery by the French Market.
Since I live in suburbia, going to Central Grocery to pick up one of these is not an option -a ninety mile round trip would make it a very expensive sandwich!
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Central Grocery Treasure Olive Salad
One of the foods that New Orleans is famous for is the Muffuletta sandwich. They are served in just about every restaurant in the city but one thing is the same. The olive salad that was invented at the Central Grocery.
The biggest sandwich around, I only ordered 1/4 of one. When the 1/4 Muffuletta showed up, it was bigger than my head. I couldnt finish it!
Defeated by a sandwich and it wasnt even a cool eating competition with people cheering you on!
I no longer have the souvenir in my possession morality police so calm down. It stayed in NOLA just not in its original location as it wouldnt fit in my suitcase.
Despite all our shenanigans, my favorite memory of the whole trip was eating a classic Muffuletta sandwich.
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Keys To The Perfect Muffuletta
February 14, 2022 by George Graham
Here in Acadiana, we love a celebration, and with Mardi Gras coming up, our party season is just getting started. Parties, balls, parades the Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana doesnt really stop until early March when the Lenten season calms things down. So, with plenty of party planning still ahead, its time for a South Louisiana favorite the perfect muffuletta.
The perfect muffulettaItalian cooking meets Cajun cooking.
Theres nothing tastier than the perfect muffuletta sandwich, but theyre tricky, and I have five keys to unlocking the mystery. There is considerable argument over who has the best. Theres even an ongoing argument over how to spell the name muffaletta or muffuletta. Conventional wisdom seems to put the French Market of New Orleans as the epicenter of the muffuletta universe, and clearly it is a u in the sandwiches seen in the many shops along the riverfront. These are the benchmark muffulettas on which others attempt to raise the bar.
The Mecca of the Muffuletta Central Grocery in New Orleans. Sadly, it is now closed due to hurricane damage.
But, these muffs are made ahead, not to order. Why? This is one of the keys to unlocking the mystery. Round loaves of Italian bread are wrapped tight and stacked high. Under their own weight, the paper becomes oil-stained and dripping with the olive salad marinade, an indication of a well-soaked muffuletta.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Who Does It Best
Central GroceryThe original cold-cut version.Central Grocerys made-to-order muffulettas have the visitors and the locals lining up ever since Salvatore Lupo stuffed his first sandwich. Todays muffuletta at Central Grocery keeps it traditional: Genoa salami, Holland ham, mortadella , the secret-recipe olive salad, and Swiss and provolone cheese served on an 8-inch round bread.
The sprawling, old-fashioned grocery store is still run by the same Lupo family, selling imported Italian delicacies and the housemade olive salad by the jar. You can eat in at the counter, or take your muffuletta to go . The visitors of the city have been known to pack their muffulettas for a flight or a drive home, but you dont have to Central Grocery now ships nationwide.
Verti MarteOverstuffed, generous on meat, served cold or hotThe tiny, beloved Verti Marte on Royal Street is open 24/7 for takeout or delivery . Verti Marte gets a lot of love for its long breakfast menu and epic po-boys, but dont discount the Mighty Muffuletta. Its overstuffed with ham, salami and cheese, but heres the catch it could be served hot or cold. So if youre not from the cold-cut purist camp and wont mind your cheese melty and your meat warm, this is one of the best places to try the hot version.
Where Does It Come From
The invention of this oversized sandwich is credited to Salvatore Lupo, the proprietor of Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. The Home of the Original Muffuletta opened in 1906 and has been selling the sandwich for over a century. Legend has it that the Italian farmers and laborers would buy what became the ingredients for the muffuletta for lunch from Lupos store , and eat them separately. Lupo decided to assemble them into a sandwich, tweaked a few components and muffuletta was born.
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Olives Capers Red Peppers And Herbs Come Together In This Light And Easy Salad
This is our take on the classic olive salad used for topping muffuletta sandwiches. The combination of olives, capers, and roasted peppers is at once sweet, salty, and tart. If a muffuletta isn’t on your horizon, this quick salad also makes a fantastic burger or pizza topping.
3/4cuppitted mixed oil-packed olives
1/4cupchopped roasted red peppers
1mediumgarlic clove, minced
1tablespoonred wine vinegar
3tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
Authentic New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
What would living in New Orleans be without a good muffuletta? Im not sure, but I do not want to find out.
This New Orleans Muffuletta is one I love to make for parties and entertaining. Its always a crowd-pleaser!
Ready to dive in? Jump to the part of this post you are looking for by clicking one of the links below.
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The Muffuletta Is More Than A Mouthful
But I gratefully lost to the Muffuletta because of the one special condiment that adorned it: the olive salad. A mixture a few olive types, some pickled vegetables, a hint of garlic, some vinegar, and peppers for good measure.
Tangy, briny, and filled with so many different flavors, I wanted to buy a jar of it!
I wanted to rub it on my face! I would have rubbed it on Brooks face and kissed him but I didnt want to waste any!
We sat there for quite a while and dissected out all the pieces of the olive salad so I could try and recreate it later.
While not an exact replica due to all the local variations, this recipe is the product of our detective work. I like to think this is pretty darn close.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below , and be sure to help me share on facebook!
While we did shop for souvenirs, I wanted the one thing I brought back from NOLA to be a recipe. This olive salad recipe!
How To Make Muffuletta Salad
FIRST: Chop all the olives and peppers into small uniform pieces. Make sure all the ingredients are roughly the same size.
SECOND: Combine the olives and peppers with the olive oil, vinegar, and spices.
THIRD: Store in the refrigerator until ready to use on your next muffuletta salad or on a dip.
Keep this stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. But I find that I love it on just about everything so mine doesnt last very long. Try it with your eggs in the morning!
For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
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How To Make
2. Mix it well with a large spoon.
3. In a smaller mixing bowl, pour in the dressing ingredients.
4. Whisk until well combined.
5. Pour the dressing over the olive mixture.
6. Stir, cover, and refrigerate this for 8 hours or overnight to give it time to marinate.
There you have it! A super tasty recipe that will knock your next muffaletta sandwich out of the ball park. Trust me, it’s that good.