When it comes to sandwiches, there’s a variety to choose from. Some people love Grilled Cheeseothers favor Veggie. Some like Roast Beef and Cheddar, while others LUV the BLT. Some eat up Reuben’s, or favor their rhyming counterpart: the Cuban. For the latter fans, the country of Cuba is to thank.
From the early 20th century, it appeared in both areas and both claim to have been the inventor. While this sounds a little like Al Gore saying he invented the Internet, both Cuba and Ybor City may have legal claims.
In this time period, people traveled frequently and easily between Florida and Cuba. Many Cubans traveled to Florida for employment opportunities and back to Cuba for familial obligations. Thus, when Cuban sandwiches surfaced at sugar plantations in Cuba and cigar factories in Ybor City, it was hard to pinpoint the founder. It is probably that they did look in both areas at relatively the same time.
No matter where it was created, its popularity has spread like mayonnaise, particularly through Florida. Key West, Tampa Bay, and Miami are all cities famous for great Cuban sandwiches, even though some regions deviate from the title, calling them”Mixto sandwiches” or”Cuban Pressed Sandwiches.”
Like its birthplace, the components in a true Cuban sandwich are also somewhat contested.
In traditional Miami creations, sandwiches are made with Cuban bread, a type of bread made with lard instead of oil. Mustard and dill pickles are added in addition to layers of glazed ham and Swiss cheese. Roast pork can also be added: this is the ingredient which helps set Cuban sandwiches apart from regular old ham and cheese.
So as to be a true Cuban, the roast pork has to be dipped in a vanilla and citrus marinade called mojo. After all the ingredients have been added, the Cuban is toasted in a press until the cheese melts and the bread is crispy.
It’s believed that the inclusion of Genoa salami comes from the melting cultural bud in Ybor City, a city that includes a mix of those from Spain, Cuba, and Italy.
However, many traditionalists argue that these additions induce the sandwich to reduce its authenticity.
A sandwich available in Cuba, known as medianoche (meaning”Midnight”), is very similar to the Cuban, but it utilizes bread made from soft egg dough. It is known as a”midnight” because of its popularity following the bars and nightclubs close. In other words, it’s like Taco Bell in America.