Cuban Sandwich at its Birthplace
Nelson @ Ybor City: We toured around the old city of Tampa, named Ybor City. It was a city founded on the production of cigars, which was very popular back then and also very labour intensive. As the story goes, the guide says the Cuban sandwich was invented in Cuba when the owner of a cigar factory was looking for a way to feed his workers so that they wouldn't become tired in the afternoon from overeating, yet still have enough energy to work. And the Cuban sandwich was born.
Right after the tour, there happened to be a market in the town square and this one stand was selling Cuban sandwiches. Naturally we had to try it. This one consists of ham, hard salami, pork, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, dished pickles, jalapeno, mayonnaise and mustard on a Cuban bread. The sandwich is pressed in something similar to a panini press, but without grooves, giving it a toasted crisp texture while pressing the ingredients together. I eat sandwiches every day, and I must say this was an excellent sandwich. I loved the pickles in the sandwich and combined with the other ingredients, fresh bread and the all important mayo & mustard, it makes for a great tasting sandwich.
This stand was run by Ingrid of Alex Catering and she did an excellent job. I got so involved talking to her that I didn't notice a bum fight occurring right behind me!
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