Over-the-Top Taste of New Orleans: The Bologna Sandwich From 'Turkey and the Wolf'

Over-the-Top Taste of New Orleans: The Bologna Sandwich From 'Turkey and the Wolf'

Monday, 27 February, 2023

Food and drinks are some of the easiest ways — and the most fun— to vicariously experience another culture. When you add a great book to the mix, you've got the makings of a perfect evening. In Food+Fiction, we recommend a delicious read and a related recipe so you can try the taste of different destinations in your own kitchen.

This post is part of our Food+Fiction series.


A New Orleans muffuletta sandwich is like the food equivalent of NOLA itself: Colorful and brash, it takes bits from different cultures and makes them into something totally new and one-of-a-kind.

The iconic sandwich is served on a special bread that is difficult to find outside New Orleans. It’s a wide, flat, round loaf with a tender crust and a texture between a ciabatta and focaccia. The top is encrusted with sesame seeds. Inside, it’s stuffed with salami and ham, provolone cheese, and a dressing-salad hybrid made from chopped green and black olives, pickled vegetables, pepperoncini, and Italian herbs. It’s the kind of thing you can try to make at home, and it will be good, but it won’t be quite the same as eating it in situ. Ask the foodie-on-the-street where to get the best one, and they’ll probably recommend Central Grocery & Deli on Decatur Street in New Orleans. The shop was founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who created the muffuletta.

The muffuletta is a classic, no question about it.

But since 2016, another New Orleans sandwich has been attracting much well-deserved attention. It’s The Bologna from the restaurant and cookbook called Turkey and the Wolf. Its founder Mason Hereford is very invested in making food that just tastes damn good, and he’s not afraid to turn to junk food and over-the-top combos to make it happen. Which makes New Orleans the perfect place for his sandwich shop.

The good news for you is that you can easily recreate his (in)famous bologna sandwich to put the exuberant taste of neo-New Orleans into your belly.

Have you read the old-school ‘Deadly Sin’ crime series by Lawrence Sanders? If you have*, you know the hero — the one-and-only Detective Edward X. Delaney — is a sandwich aficionado. He has a particular affection for what he calls ‘sink sandwiches.’ Those are sandwiches so sloppy and gloppy and ephemeral, you have to eat them over the sink. If Edward X. Delaney stumbled upon this recipe, he would eat it immediately, whilst hunched over the kitchen sink in culinary bliss.

*If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Edward Delaney, please treat yourself to The First Deadly Sin asap.

The Bologna, adapted from Turkey and the Wolf

Serves 4.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 8 thick slices soft white bread
  • 12 thick (about 1/8 inch) slices bologna (mortadella works, too)
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • mayo
  • sweet-hot mustard
  • 2 cups finely shredded lettuce
  • 4 big handfuls salt-and-vinegar potato chips


Prep. Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.

Fry the bread. Heat a skillet (cast-iron is great) over medium heat and let it get hot. Spread butter on both sides of the bread and toast in the skillet until it’s golden on both sides, 1-2 minutes per side. when they’re done, transfer them to a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy.

Cook the bologna. In the same pan, cook the bologna slices over medium-high heat until brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. You will probably need to do this in batches. As they’re done, move them to a baking sheet and place them in slightly overlapping groups of three. When they’re all browned, top each group of three with two slices of American cheese. Place the baking sheet in the oven until the cheese gets melty, about 3 minutes.

Start to assemble. Spread four slices of bread with mayo and the other four with mustard. Use your best judgement. Add the shrettuce to the mayo-bread, then top with the cheesy bologna, and a handful of chips. Some will slide off. Eat them. That’s your bonus!

Big finish. Cover the chips with the remaining bread slices and press down on each with your palm, crushing the chips a little, so the sandwich will just fit in your mouth. Congratulations! You’re awesome.


This book contains recipes that you can reasonably make at home or, in the case of one recipe that requires a pig’s head and good sixteen hours of your time, that you should strongly consider making at home even if it almost takes you down. — Mason Hereford

Turkey and the Wolf

by Mason Hereford

If you’re looking for a traditional jambalaya recipe, stop right here. This is not the cookbook for you. But if you want to taste the spirit of New Orleans with a melting pot of influences, a sense of community, and food that makes you whoop with happiness, this colorful cookbook is a great place to start. Mason Hereford is the founder, owner, and sometime chef of the restaurant by the same name in New Orleans. When this lunch-only sandwich shop opened in 2016, publications like GQ, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit lost their minds over the inventiveness and sense of play in food that tastes really damn good.{more}

This super-fun cookbook (256 pages) was published in June of 2022 by Ten Speed Press. The book takes you to a New Orleans sandwich shop. Melissa read Turkey and the Wolf and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.

Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin in New Orleans


Top image courtesy of The Mercantile Hotel.

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