When it comes to sandwiches, there’s a variety to select from. Some folks love Grilled Cheeseothers favor Veggie. Some eat up Reuben’s, or favor their rhyming counterpart: the Cuban. For the latter lovers, the country of Cuba is to thank.
In the early 20th century, it seemed in both regions and both claim to have been the inventor. While this seems a little like Al Gore stating he invented the Internet, both Cuba and Ybor City may have legal claims.
During this time frame, people traveled regularly and readily 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 creator. It is most likely that they did appear in both places 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 known for great Cuban sandwiches, though some areas deviate in the title, calling them”Mixto sandwiches” or”Cuban Pressed Sandwiches.”
Like its birthplace, the components in a real Cuban sandwich are also somewhat contested.
In traditional Miami creations, sandwiches are made with Cuban bread, a type of bread made with lard in lieu of oil. Mustard and dill pickles are added as well as layers of glazed ham and Swiss cheese. Roast pork can also be added: this is the ingredient which helps set Cuban sandwiches besides regular old ham and cheese.
So as to be a true Cuban, the roast pork has to be dipped in a citrus and garlic marinade called mojo. It must then be slow roasted. After all of the ingredients are 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.
But many traditionalists argue that these additions cause the sandwich to reduce its authenticity.
Some other closely related sandwiches are those made in the northern United States, which replaces the Cuban bread with Panini bread. A sandwich available in Cuba, called medianoche (meaning”Midnight”), is similar to the Cuban, but it utilizes bread made from soft egg dough. It is called a”midnight” because of its popularity after the pubs and nightclubs close. In other words, it is like Taco Bell in America.