When thinking about Mardi Gras food, the
first thing that probably comes to mind is King Cake. But the muffuletta
sandwich is another uniquely New Orleanian food that is perfect for this season
According to Louisiana
lore, the muffuletta was invented in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, the owner of
Central Grocery at 923 Decatur
in the French Quarter. Many immigrants from Palermo,
Italy made their way to New Orleans in the late
1800s and early 1900s. In fact, so many Palermo
natives came to live there that the Lower French Quarter was called “Little
Palermo,” and Sicilian workers would buy their lunch from places like Central
A typical Sicilian lunch included bread,
salami, cheese, and olives—eaten antipasto style. Lupo noticed that many of the
workers had trouble balancing all of these items separately, so he got the
bright idea to put all the ingredients on a sandwich to make them easier to
carry and consume.
The sandwich gets its name from the Sicilian
sesame bread it uses called muffuletto, which the Sicilian immigrants brought
with them to New Orleans.
Ingredients of a proper muffuletta sandwich include olive salad, genoa salami,
ham, mortadella, provolone, and Swiss served on a round muffuletto bun that is
topped with sesame seeds. Traditionally, it is a cold (room temperature)
sandwich, but it can also be served warm.
Here in Galveston,
several local eateries feature this traditional favorite, and each one is as
good as the next. So try them all and let the muffulettas roll this Mardi Gras.
Maceo Spice and Import
2706 Market | 409.763.3331 |
www.MaceoSpice.com | Mon-Sat 11am-5pm (Closed Sun) Perhaps Galveston’s
favorite muffuletta stop, according to the Maceo family story, the muffuletta
was actually invented by Tony Lavoi, who sold them off a pushcart and then
eventually to Central Grocery.
R. S. Maceo started selling muffulettas out
of his store shortly after his retirement, when he was looking to add another
dimension to his retail spice shop. The Maceo muffuletta includes genoa salami,
polish ham, provolone cheese, and house made olive salad on fresh baked sesame
seed topped bread.
The olive salad is a secret family recipe
that R. S. Maceo did not even share with his own family until just shortly before
his death in 2009. The baker of the bread is also a family secret.
Maceo’s serves whole or half muffulettas
either warm or at room temperature, and they also sell their famous olive salad
by the jar. Start your week off right with their Monday special of ¼ muffuletta
sandwich served with red beans and rice, or jazz up your celebrations with a
Muffuletta party tray, available during Mardi Gras with advance order.
2711 Market | 409.497.2069 |
Just across the street from Maceo’s, the
Gypsy Joynt will be easy to find when it is time for your next muffuletta fix.
The Gypsy muffuletta includes ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, and house
made olive relish on homemade focaccia bread. The meat is freshly sliced and
the olive relish and bread are made in house.
For all of the flavors of a muffuletta in a
slightly more adventurous format, try the Joynt’s Muffuletta Pizza, made by
replacing the focaccia with pizza crust and topping it with all of the same
traditional ingredients as the sandwich.
2425 Strand | 409.762.8566
After trying muffulettas on Market Street, head
over to the Strand. Grab a half or whole
traditional muffuletta at the Old Strand Emporium, made using Boar’s Head deli
meats and cheeses and served on traditional sesame seed-topped bread.
2021 Strand | 409.220.3551 |
Your next muffuletta experience awaits at the
other end of the Strand. Order a quarter,
half, or whole muffuletta at Hubcap Grill, where the Sicilian sandwich is piled
high with ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, and house made olive spread, all
served on an authentic muffuletta loaf complete with sesame seeds.
1206 19th Street | 409.763.9602
Head off the beaten path to local favorite
Sonny’s, where owner Junior Puccetti put muffulettas on the menu in the 1980s
and has been serving them ever since. The Sonny’s muffuletta includes ham,
salami, mortadella, Swiss, provolone, and Grandma Theresa’s olive salad on
fresh baked Vienna
Junior uses his mother’s family recipe for
the house made olive salad, and although the Vienna bread is made on the island, Junior
keeps the name of the baker a secret. Order your quarter, half, or whole
muffuletta at room temperature, or get it grilled. Getting it grilled takes a
little longer, costs a little more, but is completely worth it.
628 14th Street | 409.763.1010 | www.MosquitoCafe.com
The final muffuletta stop is the Mosquito
Café, where the sandwich is only served a couple of times a year. But of
course, one of those times is during Mardi Gras. They are served for a month or
two depending on how Mardi Gras falls on the calendar, and they are also served
during the summer. This year they will begin serving their muffuletta on
The Mosquito muffuletta includes salami, ham,
mortadella, provolone, and house made olive salad on traditional bread that is
baked fresh daily across the street at Patty Cake’s Bakery.
327 23rd Street
1200 Seawall Blvd.
512 14th Street
4400 Seawall Blvd.