What is CUBAN SANDWICH? What does CUBAN SANDWICH mean? CUBAN SANDWICH meaning – CUBAN SANDWICH definition – CUBAN SANDWICH explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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A Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese sandwich that originated in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Key West and Ybor City, Tampa, two early Cuban immigrant communities in Florida. Later on, Cuban exiles and expatriates brought it to Miami, where it is also still very popular. The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and salami on Cuban bread. The later variation of the sandwich that emerged in Miami excludes salami.
In 2012, the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich” was designated as the “signature sandwich of the city of Tampa” by the Tampa City Council.
While there is some debate as to the contents of a “true” Cuban sandwich, most are generally agreed upon. The traditional Cuban sandwich starts with Cuban bread. The loaf is sliced into lengths of 8–12 inches (20–30 cm), lightly buttered or brushed with olive oil on the crust, and cut in half horizontally. A coat of yellow mustard is spread on the bread. Then sliced roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly sliced dill pickles are added in layers. Sometimes the pork is marinated in mojo and slow roasted.
The main regional disagreement about the sandwich’s recipe is whether or not to include salami. In Tampa, Genoa salami is traditionally layered with the other meats, probably due to the influence of Italian immigrants who lived side-by-side with Cubans and Spaniards in Ybor City. In South Florida, salami is left out. An 1934 travel article describes a Tampa Cuban sandwich as a “complete meal” consisting of ham, lean pork, Swiss cheese, soft salami, dill pickle and a “liberal moistening of mustard” served on “very crisp and crusty” Cuban bread. These ingredients are reiterated 27 years later in the first and all subsequent editions of “The Gasparilla Cookbook” (1961), a still-popular collection of Tampa cuisine.
Mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato are usually available options throughout Florida menus but are usually frowned upon by traditionalists.
When assembled, the sandwich can be toasted in a sandwich press called a plancha, which is similar to a panini press but without grooved surfaces. The plancha both heats and compresses the sandwich, which remains in the press until the bread surface is slightly crispy and the cheese is melted. It is usually cut into diagonal halves before serving.