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This article is about the Sicilian bread and the sandwich made from it. For the Passover crepe, see mofletta.
From top left, clockwise: muffuletta cross section, muffuletta in wrappers, olive salad, circular muffuletta loaves
Course Main courses
Place of origin United States
Region or state New Orleans, Louisiana
Main ingredients one muffuletta loaf,
marinated olive salad,
layers of mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, provolone.
Cookbook: Muffuletta  Media: Muffuletta

The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread[1] and a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana using the same bread.


First Created in 1906 at Central Grocery Co on Decatur Street by its owner Salvatore Lupo.[2][3]


A muffuletta is a large, round, and somewhat flattened loaf with a sturdy texture, around 10 inches (25 cm) across. It is described as being somewhat similar to focaccia.[4] Bread used for the muffuletta is different from focaccia, however, in that it is a very light bread, the outside is crispy, and the inside is soft. It also has no additional seasonings baked into it, aside from the sesame seeds. The bread is more like French bread, but slightly heavier. It is most akin to an Italian dough recipe. Italian dough includes flour, water, egg, olive oil, yeast, salt and sugar. French bread uses flour, water, yeast and salt.


A traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham, and provolone. The sandwich is traditionally served hot. 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. This was mentioned in the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like.

Seafood muffuletta[edit]

In Greater New Orleans there is a seafood sandwich which uses the muffuletta bread to contain fried seafood, often including oysters, shrimp, catfish and occasionally softshell crab. The seafood muffuletta excludes the olive salad in exchange for the traditional dressings of a seafood po'boy, such as melted butter and pickle slices, or mayonnaise and lettuce.

Pronunciation and orthography[edit]

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:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Media related to Muffuletta at Wikimedia Commons