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Muffaletta without olives?

Lisa Z Nov 28, 2000 01:23 PM

I hate olives - should I even bother trying a muffaletta without them or is the olive spread the whole point?

  1. n
    nolala Mar 10, 2013 04:14 PM

    So, where can I get oysters on the half shell, minus dem ersters?

    1 Reply
    1. re: nolala
      Hockey19 Jul 19, 2013 06:56 PM

      Lisa- I feel your pain as I also do not do olives. Central makes dry muff's (which I have had) and there would be nothing wrong with piling on pepperoncini's and a well flavored italian dressing. Maybe it's not a muffaletta (as a rueben is not a reuben without all the ingredients) but the filling is great and the bread is great and don't feel like you are breaking any laws in trying to enjoy it.

    2. r
      rouxdauphine Jan 18, 2013 07:30 PM

      While the olives are indeed the most flavor-forward portion of this sandwich, you can indeed as another poster said, do the giardinera salad without the olives. Truth be told, when I'm asked to describe the olive salad, I tell people imagine a giardinera salad with olives added.

      Now, to your dilemma, what aspect of olives do you not like? Are there other things you dislike as well as olives? I'm betting if you tell us your other food likes/dislikes we can inch that sandwich a bit closer to the experience without making you hate it.

      Here's another thought. When you're ready to go home, go to Central Grocery (plan ahead, they're closed Sunday and Monday) and get a muffaletta wrapped to travel. That's how they're served there, by the way. When you get home, the flavors of the olive salad (which will not really be the same as biting into olives) will have permeated the bread beautifully. Then, scrape the olive salad off the bread and enjoy a taste of New Orleans and pretend you're still here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rouxdauphine
        kukubura Jan 19, 2013 02:43 PM

        They probably found an alternative some time in the 13 years since they asked the question... ;)

        1. re: kukubura
          Bill Hunt Jan 20, 2013 08:00 PM

          Let us hope so.

          At the end of the day, it was sort of like asking, "can I get a fried shrimp po-boy, when I hate shrimp."

          Now, I loved Ruben sandwiches, BUT wanted turkey, in lieu of pastrami. At one great deli, I would order a "Turkey Ruben," and if Mrs. Goldstein was alone, would have to grovel. If her partner was there, then the order would be "just do a Ruben with smoked turkey, and do not fight with the patron!"

          There CAN be options.


      2. jo_jo_ba Jan 18, 2013 05:57 PM

        i always leave out the olives, since I'm allergic, and add a giardinera chopped mix instead

        1. t
          tthinmint Jan 18, 2013 05:35 PM

          Understandably you may not get the full effect of a muffaletta without olives, but if your okay with olive oil and look at the recipe for olive salad it's only one of many ingredients. And I enjoy them without all the time the bread meats and cheeses also play a very big role.

          1. c
            Creole Nov 28, 2000 02:02 PM

            That's like asking, "What's a Reuben like without the sauerkraut?" Duh . . . a different sandwich.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Creole
              Lisa Z Nov 28, 2000 02:37 PM

              Hey, I was asking because I didn't know. No need to get snippy about it.

              I'd be happy to advise a saurkraut-hating visitor to NYC to try a delicious corned beef on rye rather than a Reuben -- was similarly wondering if there's anything special about a muffaletta BESIDES the olives.

              1. re: Lisa Z
                Bob W. Nov 28, 2000 04:13 PM

                Lisa: I'l try to respond w/o being snippy; I wouldn't want you to go Al Gore on me. :>)

                It's not merely olives, it's olive salad: chopped olives and peppers (and maybe carrots?), in an olive-oil based dressing. Olive salad is one of the three essential ingredients of a muffaletta. It's just not a muff w/o the olive salad.

                1. re: Bob W.
                  Jason Perlow Nov 28, 2000 04:51 PM

                  The olive salad is the -only- thing that separates the standard italian sub from a muffuletta -- that and the consistency of the bread. But you can replicate a pretty damn good facsimile of a CG muffuletta with their olive salad and premium cold cuts.

                  The traditional ingredients

                  Genoa salami
                  Olive salad
                  Sliced mozzarella cheese
                  Sliced provolone cheese
                  Round Italian bread, but a ciabotta roll or a tuscan loaf will do quite well.

                  I even like to add speck or prosciutto de parma to this.

                  If you take a look at whats in the olive salad from Central Grocery, there is an awful lot of other stuff in those jars besides green olives, kalamata olives and olive oil -- I think there is peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and other stuff... I have some at home I can try to identify the contents when I get back.

                  Here's a sample URL if you want to buy some with a nice photo. Theres a whole buncha places on the net that you can get it.


                  You can buy it directly from the source at:



                  1. re: Jason Perlow
                    Rick V. Nov 30, 2000 05:49 PM

                    Mmmm, Central Grocery Muffaletta's - you're making me hungry.

                  2. re: Bob W.
                    Lisa Z Nov 28, 2000 04:52 PM

                    Thanks Bob. I'll now concede and leave the muffalettas for others.

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