In the Kitchen With Agatha Fertitta
A Shreveport family puts their own spin on the New Orlean's muffaletta and creates the "Muffy."
Fertitta’s Delicatessen is a remaining stalwart in Shreveport’s old Blue Goose District. Behind the counter of this mom-and-pop Italian grocery stands Agatha Fertitta McCall, the third generation of Fertitta to operate the restaurant. She was, in fact, born above it.
McCall is the daughter of Papa Sam Fertitta, inventor of their signature sandwich, the Muffy, not to be confused with the muffaletta. “The muffaletta gets its name from the bread,” she says. “The New Orleans original is a cold sandwich that uses Italian cold cuts with provolone cheese.” Its olive mix is chunky and heavy on the olive oil. The Muffy is a hot sandwich made with a blend of cheddar and mozzarella, American cold cuts, mustard, and, the pièce de résistance, Papa Fertitta’s Famous Olive Mix, which can be purchased by the jar. Lighter on the oil, the olive mix is made of fine chopped olives, vegetables, and other seasonings.
The Muffy is a Shreveport must-eat. Stop in to say hello to McCall and try the sandwich for yourself. (They can also be shipped.)
Fertitta’s Muffy Sandwich Recipe
1 ½ ounce of Papa Fertitta’s Olive Mix
1 8-inch round loaf Italian break cut in half horizontally
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
2 3-ounce portions of sliced ham
2 3-ounce portions of bologna
2 3-ounce portions of turkey (optional)
Spread the top half bread with mustard. Combine cheeses and place on the bottom half of the bread. Arrange meat on both halves, then arrange on a baking sheet. Bake both halves at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheeses have melted.
Remove sandwich from oven. Spread Papa Fertitta’s Olive mix on the bottom half, then cover with the top half, cut into quarters and serve immediately.