In the US, we’re used to a Cuban sandwich having ham, pickles and cheese. Well my friends, I hate to inform you… this is all wrong! The traditional sandwich starts with the Cuban bread. The loaf is sliced into lengths of 8-12 inches, lightly buttered on the crust, and cut in half horizontally. The pork is marinated in mojo and slow roasted. There is no ham, pickles, or cheese on a traditional sandwich, it’s much simpler than that. The pork is then topped with a blend of garlic, onions, and sweet pepper marinated in vinegar.
Where’s the best place to find an authentic Cuban sandwich? From a street vendor, such as Rico y Fresco, on the drive from Trinidad to Havana in Cuba!
Photo Credit: Kim Wilson @ cinematiclifestyleimagery.com
The history of the Cuban Sandwich isn’t clear, but one could guess that it originated in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when people were constantly sailing back and forth from Cuba and Florida for employment, pleasure, and family visits. During that time, travel between the two countries was easy. Some believe that the sandwich was a common lunch food for workers in both the cigar factories and sugar mills of Cuba. Regardless of where it started, it’s something you should definitely try when visiting Cuba!
If you’ve had a traditional Cuban sandwich, tell us in the comments below how you liked it.