In Rememberance of the Sangweech

In just a matter of days Rachel and I will be heading to points South — Atlanta and then New Orleans for a much needed vacation (where we will keep everyone up to date on where we eat, of course!)

At this post on Hedonia, I was reminded of one of my favorite sandwiches from New Orleans, the Muffuletta, which is served throughout the city (and mail order at Progress Grocery) but has made its mark at Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter.

The muffuletta is essentially an Italian cold cut sandwich, served on a special round loaf baked specifically for muffulettas. It’s got alternating layers of cheese and different kinds of ham and salamis, but what makes it particularly special is Central Grocery’s Olive Salad which you can also buy by the jar. It’s a secret recipe of different kinds of pickled vegetables including both black and green olives, cauliflower, carrots , roasted red peppers, garlic, oregano and other seasonings.

Two years ago, for the 4th of July, we decided we were going to make a muffuletta of our own, but “Jersey style”. This would be an utterly gigantic sandwich meant to serve six people for a picnic at our local park while we watch the fireworks. The “Sangweech” as it became to be called was an entire Ciabatta loaf that was hollowed out and utterly filled to the brim with six types of Italian cold cuts, provolone and mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, preserved roasted red peppers, arugula and basil, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then compressed with a heavy weight overnight in the refrigerator while sealed in a plastic bag.

A closeup of the Sangweech.

The Sangweech. Notice how it takes up almost the entire chopping board and is sitting next to the knife block for approximate scale. It was MASSIVE.

A slice of the Sangweech after being compressed overnight with a heavy weight.

My buddy Andy Kim attempting to eat a piece of Sangweech. Andy and his wife, Lin, have now moved out to Los Angeles. We miss them so, if not because there are few opportunities now for making Sangweeches.

8 Responses to In Rememberance of the Sangweech

  1. Jim says:

    There really need to be more communal sandwiches. This thing looks awesome.

  2. Anita says:

    “We miss them so, if not because there are few opportunities now for making Sangweeches.”

    If you need an excuse, we’re happy to fly out :D

  3. daedalus says:

    That sandwich is a marvel of engineering. Like building a suspension bridge. Sure looks good with that rustic bread crust

  4. Sean says:

    Seriously I am jonesing for a trip back to NOLA right now. The sangweech is just the beginning. Then there’s the oysters, the po’boys, the etouffee … oops, just had to wipe drool off my keyboard.

  5. William says:

    Just when I think I’m having a bad day, I see something like the sangweech and suddenly everything feels better.

    I sleep well knowing sandwiches like that exist in the world. Oh, and the muffalatta (sp?) is one of man’s greatest creations.

  6. Scott says:

    Hey Jason.. headed to N.O. for work in a few weeks any recommendations as to where to get one of these bad boys?

  7. Central Grocery in the French Quarter is the reference standard, but Nor-Joe’s in Metairie is even better in my opinion. We just taste tested both side to side and I think Nor Joes is the clear winner, as it has more types of stuff in it. Theres photos of it on my flickr stream and I will be probably posting about it towards the end of next week. Its a lot easier to deal with because it is on the way to the airport and great for packing up and bringing home. Its even better after marinating in the olive oil for a few hours.

  8. Wow! That is one big muffa of a sangweech!
    (Shouldn’t “sangweech” have another “a”, like “sangaweech”?)

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