Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cuban Sandwiches -- A Taste of the Homeland



Nephew John and family came for a visit on Thursday, bearing Cuban sandwiches from Tampa. (From The Floridian, to be exact.) Oh, bliss!

These are the iconic sandwiches of my youth -- picnics, road trips, sailing excursions, a crowd coming over, all called for these wonderful sandwiches, available for take-out at many, many restaurants and cafes. Our high school even offered a not-all-that-bad version in the cafeteria. Every day.

I can reproduce a lot of the Cuban/Tampa food I grew up with -- Arroz Amarillo can Pollo, Caldo Gallego, Flan de Leche, Picadillo, Ropa Vieja are all on our menu now and then. But Cuban sandwiches, alas, are beyond my reach. 

It's all about the bread. I've tried to make Cuban bread but it's never the same -- not light (lighter than French bread) inside and paper thin and crackly-crusted on the outside. Can't do it and if anyone can tell me they have, I beg for the recipe.


If I did have Cuban bread . . . the ham and salami and cheese are easily come by -- but then there's the matter of the mojo roast pork -- not available in my neck of the woods. I could make it but don't have the professional slicer needed to turn out the paper thin slices required.

These sandwiches didn't come with the Swiss cheese -- whether a choice or an oversight I don't know but I added a bit of a mild grated cheese mix. Also a mustard/mayonnaise combo and plenty of dill pickles. (Many consider it heresy but had I had a decent tomato in the house, I might have added tomato and lettuce after the sandwich was heated. But this is January and there are no decent tomatoes.)

Into the oven to heat till the cheese melted and all that meat was warm.

Oh, heavenly!  And to think that as I child I occasionally said, "What? Cuban sandwiches again?"

 HERE is a terrific article about the origin of Tampa Cuban sandwiches. 







7 comments:

Ms. A said...

I'm not familiar with them, but I would definitely give it a go.

jennyfreckles said...

They certainly look appetising. Hope you're well prepared for the Great Storm & don't lose your power. Stay safe.

Vicki Lane said...

Still snowing, still have power. Justin and Cluai have gone into Asheville to stay in a hotel near the hospital as she is on night shift for the next few days and travel is treacherous. So we are doing doggy day and night care. Joun is suiting up now to walk down a feed chickens, see about the cows, fed J and C's chickens and build a fire in their wood heater. Trying times but si far so good...

Barbara Rogers said...

Oh I WANT one now...something I hadn't thought of in years, but used to take for granted...just send out for them for lunch. Living in Tampa does have some advantages. But I gave this one up for NC mountains. But I still can miss them! Glad you got to enjoy them. I can actually see sun peaking through clouds, but snow is still coming lazily down.

NCmountainwoman said...

Good thing the family arrived before the storm hit. It will be quite some time before we can get anywhere. Stay warm and safe.

Jim Egerton said...

I'm going to try making one with some french bread and hope. In all the recipes I have read there is no mention of salami. Is that a local Tampa thing or from somewhere else. Was it ever in Cuba? Just wondering

Vicki Lane said...

I think it's a Tampa thing. I highly recommend it. And don't forget the dill pickle.