What Is on an Original Cuban Sandwich?


Quick Answer

A traditional Cuban sandwich consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread. The sandwich, sometimes known as a cubano, is often considered the Cuban version of the grilled ham and cheese.

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What Is on an Original Cuban Sandwich?
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Full Answer

The special bread used on a Cuban sandwich is similar to Italian bread. Bakers make the loaves into long baguette-style shapes. The bread is cut into lengths about 8 to 12 inches and sliced horizontally to hold the ingredients.

The bread gets a coating of mustard on the inside. Then, ham, pork, cheese and thinly sliced pickles go on the bread in layers. The sandwich is then placed inside a press that toasts and compresses the Cuban sandwich.

The specific origins of the Cuban sandwich aren't clear, but the sandwich likely came to the United States in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Workers from Cuba traveled frequently between Florida and Cuba for both work and pleasure. Cafés serving workers in cigar factories in Ybor City and West Tampa started serving the sandwiches.

The Cuban sandwich continued to gain popularity in Florida. The sandwiches eventually made it onto menus on other restaurants by the 60s, as the Cuban population increased in Miami. The sandwich also spread to other cities, often with variations in the recipe.

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