The Muffaletta is an extraordinary sandwich made popular in Louisiana by way of Sicily. Made in what was deemed as New Orleans' 'Little Palermo,' this sandwich was made popular by the owner of a Sicilian delicatessen in 1906. Having seen many of his customers buy bread, olives and cold cuts then balance all the bits and pieces as they tried to eat, the grocer decided to make it into one handy sandwich they could eat on the go.
This is a sandwich that is jam-packed with cured meats, pickled vegetables and cheese. Basically, it is basically all the items in a picnic spread ready to go in one delicious handful (a good thing for Covid-era Melbourne). The best thing about a Muffaletta is that you can take it anywhere you want: more mortadella here or some chilli paste there. Though purists go for Provelone cheese in their Muffaletta, we favour any and all of the L'Artisan cheeses we purvey. No rules apply here, only that you need good quality bread and plenty of layers of ingredients. Use the below quantities and instructions as a guideline and make it exactly as you'd like it. This is best made the night before a day time picnic.
One Baker Bleu Country Loaf
Mixed olives, pitted and sliced
L'Artisan Petit Rouge, thinly sliced
Cut the top third off of your country loaf horizontally. Using your hands, remove bread to hollow out both halves of loaf, leaving a 1½ cm-thick shell (hold onto this bread for making bread crumbs).
Place the bread pieces on your workbench with the cut side up. Dress the inside of the bread with olive oil and spread with a small quantity of fermented chilli if using. Start by layering your mortadella in one layer, then press down firmly with your hands. Continue this layering process with Inferno salami, then Marcel cheese, ham, Zuni pickle, Sopressa salami, prosciutto, more cheese, olives and Lonza. Ensure each layer is pressed down firmly as you work. Replace the 'hat' of the loaf and press down hard again on all the layers. Wrap in foil and put in the fridge to firm up. When ready to eat, slice across and enjoy alongside a cold beer.
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