Although the question hasn’t been tackled yet by any of this year’s presidential candidates, The Wall Street Journal weighed in last weekend on an issue that south Louisiana residents hold close to the heart.
Put simply, should muffulettas be served cold or hot?
In an extensive feature on the celebrated local sandwich, Journal contributor Kathleen Squires noted that debate on that point can get pretty intense.
“As you might expect with a Sicilian-Cajun invention, tempers run high when it comes to the best way to serve a muffuletta — hot or cold,” Squires told readers.
“I’ve literally got into fistfights about this,” New Orleans chef Phillip Lopez told The Journal. “It is a cold-cut sandwich! It is meant to be served and eaten cold!”
Chef Donald Link, also quoted in The Journal, spoke for the hot muffuletta faction: “I like the cheese to be a tad melty, and I think heat brings out the flavor more in the meat because it renders the fat and brings out the juices.”
We’re not quite ready to endorse either side in this spirited debate without more research — the kind that will involve repeated lunches, sampling muffulettas both hot and cold, preferably with plenty of cold beverages on the side. We will, in the meantime, endorse Squires’ assessment of the muffuletta: “the perfect two-fisted workman’s lunch — portable and hearty.”