First posted 3 July 2003 at 1840 GMT
Last updated 23 July 2003 at 0354 GMT
By Joe O'Connell,
LOS ANGELES, California, USA — Sicilian immgrants in New Orleans
developed the muffoletta sandwich in 1906.
The muffoletta sandwich consists of the muffoletta bread, sliced in
half through the “equator” and filled with the muffoletta olive salad
and thin slices of mortadella (Italian sausage), cappicola (an Italian
ham), salami (hard Italian or Genoa salami), provolone (Italian cheese),
and emmantaler (a Swiss cheese).
The sandwich is constructed by first painting olive oil on the
insides of the two halves of bread. The olive oil seals the bread
so that it can then hold a thick layer of olive salad: about ¼ cup is
added to each half.
Then Italian meats (a 10" loaf uses ¼ pound each of mortadella,
cappicola and salami) are layered thickly on one side, and the cheese (¼
pound each of provolone and emmantaler) are layered thickly on the other
Thickly means that each muffoletta sandwich is filled with 1¼ pounds
of meat and cheese plus half a cup of olive salad.
The two halves are then joined and wrapped, so that none of the
filling leaks out from the inside. Thus the advantage of the
muffoletta loaf: its round shape and interior pocket securely
encloses the filling.
One hundred years ago, a 10" muffoletta
sandwich made a farmer’s lunch. Today, a single muffoletta
sandwich can be cut into 8 pie-shaped pieces and shared by a group of
Joe O'Connell is senior research specialist for Muffoletta Ltd.,
the official resource for information about the authentic muffoletta.