Amazing Cuban Sandwich Facts
Did you know ...
that a Cuban Sandwich is a variation of a ham
and cheese originally created in cafes catering to Cuban
workers either in Cuba or in the Cuban immigrant communities
of Florida, most likely Ybor City in Tampa, Florida?
that later on,
Cuban immigrants and expatriates brought it to Miami
where it is also still very popular?
sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss
cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread?
that as with Cuban
bread, the origin of the Cuban
Sandwich (sometimes called a "Cuban mix", "mixto
sandwich", or "Cuban Pressed Sandwich") is somewhat murky?
sandwich became a common lunch food for workers in
both the cigar factories and sugar mills of Cuba and the cigar
factories of Ybor City around 1900?
that at that time,
travel between Cuba and Florida
was easy, and Cubans frequently sailed back and forth for
employment, pleasure, and family visits?
that because of the
constant and largely movement of people and culture and ideas,
it's impossible to say exactly when and where the
Cuban Sandwich first became a common worker's meal?
that by around
1910, however, workers' cafιs in Cuba, Ybor City, and
the older Cuban enclave of Key West were serving many such
that in Cuba
(where it is more commonly known as a mixto), the sandwich was
served in kiosks, coffee bars and casual restaurants,
especially in the big cities such as Havana or Santiago de
that in Tampa's
bustling Latin enclaves of Ybor City and West Tampa, it was
served in mainly in cafes catering to workers in the cigar
that by the 1960s,
Cuban Sandwiches were also common on Miami
cafeteria and restaurant menus, as the city had gained a large
influx of Cuban residents after Fidel Castro's 1959 rise to
power in their native land?
Communist Revolution caused a wave
of Cuban expatriates to settle in other locations as well, and
they brought their culture and cuisine with them and Cuban
sandwiches are now served in various Cuban exile communities
in places such as New York, New Jersey, Chicago, and Puerto
Rico, among others?
that while there is
some debate as to the contents of a "true" Cuban
Sandwich, most are generally agreed upon and the
traditional Cuban sandwich starts with Cuban bread?
that the loaf
is sliced into lengths of 8-12 inches, lightly buttered, or
brushed with olive oil, on the crust, and cut in half
that a coat of
yellow mustard is spread on the bread and then roast
pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly-sliced dill pickles
are added in layers, with sometimes the pork is marinated in
mojo and slow roasted?
that the main
regional disagreement about the sandwichs recipe is
whether or not to include salami?
that in Tampa,
Genoa salami is traditionally layered in with the
other meats, probably due to influence of Italian immigrants
who lived side-by-side with Cubans and Spaniards in Ybor City?
that in Miami,
salami is left out?
mayonnaise, lettuce, and/or tomato are also added and
these additions are often available in restaurants in Miami
and Tampa, but are frowned upon by traditionalists there?
that when assembled,
the sandwich is lightly toasted in a sandwich
press called a plancha, which is similar to a Panini
press but without grooved surfaces.
that the plancha
both heats and compresses the sandwich, which remains in the
press until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted
that the Cuban
Sandwich is usually cut into diagonal halves before