By Mark Cotton
Cold Hard Football Facts Sandwich Historian
Now that it’s playoff season, it’s high time that we talk about New Orleans. Not about the Saints or about amazing year Drew Brees has had, but about the city itself. Jazz may be the blood of the city but if you want to talk about it’s soul, then you have to talk about the food. Everyone I’ve ever talked to who has been to New Orleans talks food first and, usually food second, everything else is a distant third. Starting with a foundation of southern cuisine, and mixing in the best elements from around the globe, the food in New Orleans is unlike anything you will find in the United States or anywhere else. 

If you need any convincing, just take a look through our archives here at Cold Hard Football Facts:
The Muffaletta Sandwich is a perfect example of the type of unforgettable food that is native to New Orleans. Named for a type of Sicilian bread, the sandwich originated at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The owner, Salvatore Lupo, started serving the sandwich sometime in the 1900s. Over a century later, a once regional specialty is now known throughout the world.
We here at the Cold Hard Football Facts history channel and smokehouse are grateful for Mr. Lupo’s contribution to the sandwich-making world. If we had a hall of fame, he would be a first round inductee right there with Joey Vento. For now, the best we can do is by having you honor the man, and New Orleans by making this sandwich right. You can do this by making your own olive salad, using good Muffaletta bread or at least a good Italian loaf from a local bakery and, above all, spring for the good meat at the deli counter.
  • 1 loaf Muffaletta or Italian bread)
  • 1/4 lb sliced ham
  • 1/4 lb sliced mortadella
  • 1/4 lb sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 lb sliced provolone
  • 1/4 lb sliced mozzarella
  • 1 Cup of Olive Salad
For the Olive Salad.
  • 2 cups green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 1/4 cups ready-made giardiniera
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup celery , thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian parsley , finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup jarred pimientos
  • 2 green onions , finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • Kosher salt , to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to get everything coarsely chopped. Store in a non-reactive container in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
1. Cut bread in half horizontally.
2. Spread half with olive mix then layer on meats and cheeses.
3. Cover with top. (Note: Ideally the sandwich should be made an hour or more in advance and then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to enable juices to soak bread.)
4. Slice into quarters and serve.