CNN online has published an article about the 23 best sandwiches in the world, and the famous Cuban sandwich appears on the list! Read on to find out more!
The marvellous Cuban sandwich - join the club!
Feeling peckish? Good! CNN online has recently published an article about the 23 most delicious and delectable sandwiches in the world, and the famous Cuban sandwich a.k.a "Cubano" makes a merited appearance!
If you're not sure what you've been missing all this time, here's a very brief run-down on what it is. The Cuban sandwich is essentially a variation of a ham and cheese sandwich that likely originated in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Tampa or Key West, two early Cuban immigrant communities in Florida.
The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami, all between two thick pieces of Cuban bread.
The Cuban "mixto" - linking Cuba and the USA
You may think that there aren't too many links between the island of Cuba and the United States of America, and ever since the 1950s and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, you'd be right. However, the links between Cuba and the USA are deep. So deep that a recent book focusing just on this topic just won the coveted Pulitzer Prize.
There have been decades of embargo separating the two nations for most of our living memory, as well as a very uneasy political missile stand-off in the Cold War. No, it hasn't always been an easy ride.
Interestingly though, before that, Cuba and the USA enjoyed a great relationship and Havana was seen as the "Paris of the Caribbean" from the late 19th century right up to the 1950s.
Many rich Americans, newly wealthy after the USA's economic boom in the 1880s and 1890s hopped across the sea to experience Havana and enjoy the Caribbean sunshine, and it wasn't all one-way traffic.
Many Cubans went the other way, choosing to work in the cigar factories in Florida and generally enjoying the ease and proximity of Tampa and Miami.
"The cigar industry in Florida shifted to Tampa in the mid-1880s, when the immigrant community of Ybor City was founded by cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez-Ybor. Thousands of Cuban workers moved to the area over the following decades, jumpstarting the growth of Tampa from a village to a bustling city. The first recorded mentions of a distinct Cuban sandwich survive in descriptions of workers' cafés in Ybor City and nearby West Tampa from around 1900, leading historians to theorise that the sandwich first appeared there." - Wikipedia
The Cuban sandwich - so good there's a book
So, whether you eat it with salami (Tampa way) or not (Miami way), this sandwich, layered with cooked ham, roast pork, pickles, mustard, cheese and butter, pressed between pieces of fluffy bread, is here to stay, enjoyed by millions.
The "Cubano" is simple, abundant and always affordable. The Earl of Sandwich would be very proud!
Produced in collaboration
with the Cuba Tourist Board.