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Now that's a sandwich....

It’s been a little while since I’ve managed to put pen to paper and write a blog. It’s been an exciting time with things opening up as we indulge in time with family and trips away. We’ve had some cracking camping trips, cooking BBQ over the open fire, with our friends Tooting Family Kitchen and Dish Delish amongst others, and I’ve also had some great events that we’ve have been lucky enough to cater for. Thank you to you all, it’s been a fabulous summer so far. We’ve missed cooking for you all recently so we are going to be going all guns blazing this week, offering a delicious Muffuletta sandwich, as a midweek treat, followed by Burger Friday. We haven’t decided yet between chicken or beef, so feel free to add your penny’s worth on what you want to see!

We trailed a midweek sandwich a few weeks ago, and the feedback was fabulous. Americans take sandwich making to a whole new level of artistry, putting its dry-curling-dog-eared and Tesco meal deal British cousin firmly in the corner. All across the country you find regional specialties that hit the spot. New York’s famous Katz deli where pastrami and salt beef are piled high in delicious Jewish Rye Bread (if anyone knows where I can get this do let me know!) to Miami’s double porcine and cheese Cubano nestled in a soft pliable loaf. These are meals that need to be shared and celebrated rather than see as a quick, cheap, convenient snack to fill a hunger need.

Outside the home of Muffuletta

Which brings us to the illustrious and magnificent Muffuletta Sandwich from New Orleans. The origin of the Muffuletta comes from Sicilian immigrants who would often buy meats, cheeses and fresh produce for their lunches working in the fields, eaten separately. It was soon suggested that it be placed in the soft round sesame topped Muffuletta loaf making it a more transportable meal, with customers just asking for Muffuletta after the loaf. The Muffuletta sandwich, and one of the worlds greatest, was born. It is credited as being created at the Central Grocery by Salvatore Lupo, in 1906, where it has changed very little in nearly 120 years, making it even older than the other famed sandwich from New Orleans, the Po’Boy.

Inside the Central Grocery deli, New Orleans

In essence, It's an antipasti plate in a loaf of bread. A mound of meat, cheese and a tangy tapaenade held together by a doughy Muffuletta loaf that is sturdy enough to soak up all the oily, fatty goodness from its fillings. We take thinly sliced Mortadella, Coppa di Parma and Milanese Salami, with provolone cheese and a generous spread of a tangy olive salad made with giardiniera, roasted red peppers and other Italian herbs and spices in between a 6” loaf of ciabatta. Sadly we haven’t been able to find a muffuletta loaf, but have sourced an artisan ciabatta loaf from local Tooting bakery, Il Mulino, which makes a fine substitute! We also toast ours, which whilst frowned up by purists, we can resist melted cheese!

Layers of ham, cheese and salad in toasted sandwiche
A delicious toasted muffuletta sandwich

Upon making one for a friend, he described it as up there with the best sandwich, a mozzarella and gunicale pannini, he’d eaten on a holiday in Rome. Its also a firm favourite in our household and another dish that J1 adores (J2 not so much!). I’m super excited about introducing our Muffuletta sandwich. Happy eating y'all! Rich


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