Finding Minnesota: Muffuletta’s Beer Cheese Soup
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — It’s not often you find a food that has this much staying power.
The 1977 Beer Cheese Soup at Muffuletta in St. Paul has been on the menu since day one. That was 35 years ago and the recipe hasn’t changed.
“It is kind of special,” said Executive Chef Jason Schellin. “I have never worked at a restaurant that has been around that long and held such a high standard for a menu item.”
Schellin let us inside the kitchen to see part of the process of the soup-making process.
“So we use Summit beer which is kind of a very pale … it gives it a bitter, defining beer flavor, versus a light beer,” he said. “If we were to use a light beer, you would not get that nice beer flavor. … I used about six ounces for a gallon of soup.”
When it’s served up, it’s topped with popcorn for added texture. And customers say it’s wonderful.
And so is the Muffuletta. It’s a sandwich originally made in New Orleans.
And it was the inspiration for the name of this St. Anthony Park neighborhood favorite.
“I remember coming here as a child for brunch dates with my family, meeting Grandma here. It was always reliable and eveyone loved the food. The atmosphere is so simple and beautiful,” said customer Meghan Kell Cornell.
General Manager Chris Boyd said Muffuletta, the restaurant, not the sandwich, has grown over the years.
It started out as just a small front section of the building and eventually expanding to more space, and a private dining room. But he ensured, some things will always be the same.
“Yes, that soup is going nowhere. It hasn’t gone anywhere since 1977 and it’s not going anywhere now,” Boyd said.
Muffulletta’s is celebrating its 35th anniversary this June.
The chef described the taste of the beer cheese soup there as spicier than most with a hint of nutmeg and curry.