Friday, May 02, 2008

NAPOLEON AND MUFFULETTAS

The signature sandwich of New Orleans is the delicious Muffuletta. This sandwich originated in 1906 at the Central Grocery by a Sicilian immigrant named Salvitore Lupo. The grocery still serves the sandwich using the original recipe and we had one from there on our second New Orleans trip. A typical muffuletta consists of one muffuletta loaf( a bread with almost foccaccia texture), split horizontally. The loaf is then covered with a marinated olive salad, then layers of capicola, salami, mortadella, emmentaler, and provolone. The sandwich is sometimes heated through to soften the provolone. Muffulettas are quite large and would easily feed more than one person. We actually split one and were full well past dinner time. The sandwiches at Central Grocery are wonderful but the best Muffulettas we've had to date were at The Napoleon House on Chartres Street. The ambiance of this place alone would make salad breadsticks seem a delicacy. Here's a little background on the history of the building...
The building's first occupant, Nicholas Girod, was mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815. He offered his residence to Napoleon in 1821 as a refuge during his exile.
Napoleon never made it, but the name stuck, and since then, the Napoleon House has become one of the most famous bars in America, a haunt for artists and writers throughout most of the 20th century.
Owned and operated by the Impastato family since 1914, it's a place that suspends you in time, where you can hear Beethoven's Eroiqua, which he composed for Napoleon, and the music of other classical masters, while sipping a Pimm's Cup, and basking in an ambiance that could only be New Orleans.



Waiting for our Muffulettas to arrive...

17 comments:

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Rebecca, this description of yours is mouth-watering! What a mouth-ful of name for a mouth-ful of sandwich!

You are introducing me to New Orleans, and you make it sound like the kind of place one wants to visit with someone very special....

THere is a movie with Marlene Dietrich, I think it was set in New Orleans, do you know it?
A period piece.

willow said...

Those look delicious...I think I could polish off that entire plate right now.

rochambeau said...

Hey Rebecca,
I miss Muffuletta's, Pimm's and New Orleans. Makes me sad. I be back next year. You know today is the Jazz Fest. Have you been?
It's sublime!

Hope you are well. Thanks for the memories and Louie!

xo
Constance

fairmaiden said...

Rebecca~ so nice to meet you. Thank you for visiting Sea Cottage. Your wedding pics are lovely. You are a beautiful bride. I love your gown and cathedral veil. I had a cathedral veil and gown with a train too. I've never been to New Orleans, never been south really, and have never had a Muffuletta. I have been to St. Louise. We lived in Kansas City for 18mos. My favorite place was just outside of St. Louise, St. Charles. We happened upon it during a festival and it was delightful.

Rebecca said...

Lavinia, it is certainly a mouthful...New Orleans is pure magic and I think it makes it even more so when you visit with someone you love.

Not sure about the Marlene D. movie..I'll Google that and see what I can find out, though...

Rebecca said...

Willow...They are so yummy and very addictive. We actually went back to the Central Market once and got one "to go" for our plane ride home...

Rebecca said...

Hello dear Constance! Wonderful to see you here again. We're very well here. I hope your mother is still doing well.

I thought you might have had more than a couple of these in your time in NOLA! :-)...Our honeymoon was at the end of Jazz and Heritage festival so we got there as it was wrapping up and haven't been back during that time since. John just told me tonight that the Neville Brothers have returned(their first time since Katrina) to close the festival. Can you imagine Jazz and Heritage without The Neville Brothers?

Rebecca said...

Welcome, Fair Maiden..Let me say again how amazing your blog at Sea Cottage is....Thank you for your sweet words about the wedding pictures and my dress...St. Louis is a great city as well..And I understand it has a thriving Jazz community...I was there last year to see a Pre-Raphaelite Art exhibit.

Mmm said...

Very interesting indeed! My mother always wanted to visit N.O. but never had chance to and now wouldn't be able anyway. Personally, I don't I could handle the humidity though!

So, were you recently there? I've never heard of that food before.

BTW, after reviewing your bio wasn't sure which site to go to.We have very similar tastes/interests. I am also an aspiring art historian of sorts--almost double majored in that actually and I like most of the things you list under movies, books, interests, etc. I suspect I'll enjoy your blogs then!

Blog Princess G said...

Mmmmmmmmmm... love two rooms separated by a long arch like that. What a delightful post. Thanks for sharing your memories Rebecca. :)

Rebecca said...

mmm...Welcome! The humidity isn't that bad there in April or early May. In June, July, and August it's unbearable. We are very humid in the summer in KY but nothing like this.

Betsy said...

My girlfriend and I took a cruise that sailed from the port at New Orleans 4 years ago, before Katrina. We we returned, we spent the afternoon wandering through New Orleans...having lunch, riding a trolley through a gorgeous old neighborhood. I'll never forget how wonderful it was. I've often wondered if those homes survivied the hurricane or just how different it would look now. The two of us are actually taking that same cruise next week. I don't think we have as much time to kill in the city as before, but maybe we can get a quick Muffuletta! :)

Rebecca said...

Betsy, It sounds like you took the St. Charles trolley through The Garden District...Sigh...........Some of the homes there were damaged but I don't know how extensive. The Quarter is in pretty good shape for the most part. If the Girod Cafe` at Napoleon House is still open, it's on Chartres Street, get a Muffuletta there or at Cental Grocery on Decatur Street where they originated. There's another grocery next door to that one that also serves good ones.

Rebecca said...

BPG, I love rooms like that, too. That room is upstairs where they have private parties and receptions. Can you imagine having a party in a house that was to be given to Napoleon?

DeeDee said...

Rebecca..I am really enjoying your visit to New Orleans...brings back all sorts of fun memories of the delicious foods ...my favorite was the "bread pudding"...did you try that? It was amazing...My oh my..listening to L Armstrong...the best :)..have a beautiful weekend...Dee Dee

Rebecca said...

Good morning, Deedee!

Yes, we had bread pudding at Oliver's,a great Creole restaurant. Yummy! I made it once for a Tea Society Murder Mystery Dinner.

Have a lovely weekend as well...

Rebecca said...

oops..I meant Olivier's not Olivers...