The New Orleans Muffaletta is a sandwich that was created in 1906 at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter. The Central Grocery is a very old little Italian grocery store that is a must visit for anyone going to New Orleans. Look for it on Decatur, just as you are leaving the Jackson Square area on the way to the French Market. The Progress Grocery, a similar store right nearby, makes a mean Muffaletta too.
The secret to the Muffaletta is twofold, good bread and olive salad. The rest of it is ham and cheese for the most part, with some salami and maybe a little pepperoni tossed in. The type of ham and cheese is fairly irrelevant and can be changed to fit your taste or mood...but you can't make a muffaletta without some good bread and olive salad.
Slice the large or small loaves like a hamburger bun (Focaccia doesn't need to be sliced, because it's usually thin). Lightly toast. Add alternating layers of meat, cheese and olive salad. Pop in the oven to melt cheese and then put the whole thing together to enjoy.
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