Cubano (Cuban Sandwich)
You might think that this delicious sandwich gets its name from its place of origin – that’s Cuba obviously. But the modern Cubano recipe was not developed in Cuba, but in Florida, USA. Where exactly in Florida is still a matter of heated debate between Tampa and Miami, two cities with large communities of American Cubans. Needless to say that the Cubano also counts among the famous foods in Florida.
A recent twist in the story about the origin of the Cubano comes from historian Andy Huse, who has studied the sandwich’s origin. Andy claims that well, the Cubano was first developed in Cuba after all and it’s long been an important part of the Cuban cuisine.
Regardless of the true origins of the Cubano, whether the recipe was developed on the island of Cuba, or by Cuban immigrants living in Tampa, or Miami, it’s a great representation of the delicious Cuban cuisine.
It’s traditionally filled with savory layers of roast pork, ham, pickles, cheese and mustard.
The Cuban Sandwich is often grilled or toasted in a sandwich maker. The latter presses all the ingredients together, resulting in a crispy bread, soft melty cheese, and an amazing mix of flavors from the meat and pickles.
The best Cuban sandwich is one that includes generous amounts of roast pork, but you can substitute the roast pork for a ham or roast ham. Enjoy this classic Cuban sandwich recipe!
For an 100% authentic Cuban experience, also try out this Pan Con Lechón recipe, another famous Cuban sandwich.
Sandwich Cubano (Cuban Sandwich)
- 1 loaf Cuban bread (French bread or Italian bread works fine too)
- 3-4 slices roast pork
- 3 slices ham or cooked ham
- 3 slices cheese (Swiss preferred)
- 6 dill pickles
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and, once melted, add the roast pork (or roast ham). Fry, stirring often, until browned.
- Roast pork works especially well for Cuban sandwiches, but if you don't have any roast meat, don't worry, you can substitute it with pretty much whatever pork cold cuts you have on hand, or easily available in your area.
- Cut the bread loaves in half and spread one half of each loaf with mustard generously. Add the browned pork on top, then the sliced pickles and the Swiss cheese.
- Place the other half of each loaf on top and brush the outsides of the sandwich with butter. This will prevent the bread from sticking to the sandwich maker (or frying pan).
- Place your sandwiches in the heated sandwich maker one at a time until the cheese has melted and the bread has toasted but not burned. You can use a frying pan instead, if you don't have a sandwich maker, just make sure to press down on the sandwich with a slotted spoon to grill the bread properly on both sides and so the filling heats up enough to melt the cheese.
- Once nicely golden, you can take off from the heat. Enjoy!
Related: Cuban Tamales
Related: Picadillo a la Habanera (Cuban Ground Beef)
Related: Ropa Vieja (Cuban Old Clothes Dish)
Related: Lechon Asado (Cuban Roast Pork)
Related: Moros y Cristianos (Cuban Rice & Black Beans)