|Place of origin||Italy (bread)|
United States (sandwich)
|Region or state||Sicily|
|Main ingredients||Bread: Wheat flour, water, eggs, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar|
Sandwich: marinated muffuletta-style olive salad, layers of mortadella, salami, Swiss cheese, ham, provolone
The muffuletta or muffaletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular sandwich that originated among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana, using the same bread.
The muffuletta bread has origins in Sicily.
The muffuletta sandwich is said to have been created in 1906 at Central Grocery Co. on Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., by its delicatessen owner Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. Another Italian-style New Orleans delicatessen, Progress Grocery Co., originally opened in 1924 by the Perrone family, claims the origin of the muffuletta is uncertain.
The traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated muffuletta-style olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.
The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours.
A muffuletta is usually served cold, but many vendors will toast it.
The name is believed to be a diminutive form of muffe ("mold", "mushroom"), perhaps due to the round sandwich bread being reminiscent of a mushroom cap; or from muffola, "muff, mitten,". The forms muffoletta and its iterations are modern Italianisms of the original Sicilian. Like many of the foreign-influenced terms found in New Orleans, pronunciation has evolved from a phonetic forebear.
Depending on the specific Sicilian dialect, the item may be spelled:
There are similarities between the muffuletta and the pan bagnat sandwich which comes from Nice, France.
The secret ingredient, besides the special recipe for the sesame bread, is Central Grocery’s homemade olive spread.