authentic Cuban Sandwich on a cutter

Traditional Cuban Sandwich (History & Origins)

Before the Europeans arrived, there was a tribe called Taino that inhabited Cuba. There are some myths about the first Cuban sandwich that was made more than 500 years ago by the Taino tribe in Cuba.They used cassava bread, made from yucca, to make the renowned sandwich.

Cassava (Casabe) bread is a flat bread that is extremely thin and hard as a cracker, made from cassava flour that is bit toxic if not cooked properly. They used fish & bird meat as the stuffing, as pork was not available at that time which made it taste like a cracker instead of a slice of dough. 

There’s nothing fancy or more difficult about making the yummy Cuban Sandwich, but the varying layers of this sandwich create a symphony of flavors & textures with each ingredient filling a specific roll.

It’s extremely tangy and tart from the pickles & mustard, very smokey and salty from the ham, zesty, citrusy & herbaceous from the mojo pork, slightly sweet from the bread all sandwiched combined together to create soft, crunchy, cheesy textures. 

So, if you’re planning to make this delicious Cuban sandwich then we are pretty much sure that you will love it. The beginning of Cuban sandwich was when the Spanish arrived, they introduced pork and ham into native diets, and bread as an alternative to Casabe. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the relations between Cuba and Florida were easy so we can’t be firm about when it was first made.  

But it is said that these delicious Cuban sandwiches were a common lunch food and cuisine for workers in both the cigar factories & sugar mills of Cuba. It should be noted that Cassava bread is also called Cuban bread.  When they relocated to America the Cubans were seeking a similar lunch food. 

The Cuban sandwich is very simple and it has no vegetables in sight, it also is way better when slathered in butter. A Cuban sandwich is a variation of cheese and ham sandwich made up of Cassava (Casabe) bread. 

It consists of roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, ham and occasionally salami on Cuban bread. Salami is only included in Tampa, where there is a large Italian population, however is not included in South Florida. 

The Cuban sandwich is at the center of a long friendly rivalry between Miami and Tampa. The rivalry between them is such that, in the year 2012, the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich” was designated the “Signature of Sandwich of the beautiful City of Tampa” by the Tampa city council.   

The best Cuban sandwich maintains its purity from top of the first slice to the bottom of the second. There is an interesting story behind each diagonally sliced bit of nourishment, but the real debate for leader of the club rages between those from Tampa & those from Miami.   

The people of first US Cuban community, in Tampa, believe that their ancestor is responsible for the invention of this sacred Cuban sandwich. They agree with all traditional recipe however they also add salami in the recipe. But those in Miami say different, they don’t add salami in Cuban sandwich. Go here if you want to know how to make a Cuban Sandwich (Miami Style).

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