California Muffaletta: King of Sandwiches

New Orlean's mega-sub gets a California twist

Lisa Hemenway's Muffaletta at Fresh
Lisa Hemenway’s Muffaletta at Fresh

Lisa Hemenway's Muffaletta at Fresh
Lisa Hemenway's Muffaletta at Fresh

Lisa Hemenway has decoded the Muffaletta.

The signature street food of New Orleans and a treasured Southern tradition, the Muffaletta is the undisputed King of all subs. Take a loaf of bread, stuff it with a pound of cold cuts (salami, ham, etc), pile on another half pound of cheese and slather it with olive spread and you’ve got a whole lotta, well, lotta.

Personally I’ve never understood why people go so gaga for what usually amounts to a choke-inducing amount of meat stuffed between a carb-coma. With olives. But they do.

This version is different. And maybe it’s the hint of California that makes it so tasty. At Fresh, Hemenway takes a loaf of Ciabbata (already better), adds layers of Sopressata, salami, clove-smoked ham and smoked turkey, then adds a few slices of provolone and smoked mozzarella with artichoke heart spread (yes, sacrilege but it tastes good) and moist olive tapenade.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better, more moist version of this super sammie anywhere. And we’ve consulted a number of NOLA expats. Hemenway serves it daily for lunch, grilled in her wood-fired oven. More than enough for two. Possibly a whole family, $12.95.

Fresh By Lisa Hemenway: 755 Mountain Hawk Way, Santa Rosa, 595-1048