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Old 03-15-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Need help: Cuban Sandwich.

Ok, Im working on an article about my "quest for a great cuban sandwich" here in Boston, but part of what Im writting about is how in all these years I have not been able to define this elusive sandwich beyond the pork leg, smoked ham and cheese made in a sandwich press.

Does anyone have any firsthand cuban from cuba sandwich experience? What would you say makes a perfect one?

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Old 03-15-2007, 07:26 PM   #2
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Heh, I just ate one an hour or so ago. I'd add thinly sliced pickle, mayo and mojito (a garlic/oil condiment) to the afore mentioned ingredients and the cheese could be perhaps, swiss. I must mention I've never made one myself but the latino bakery nearby really does it well. Btw, I'm kinda vague on this but in Miami they use what I believe is pan de manteca, a bread made with lard, which may add to it's authenticity.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lugaru
Ok, Im working on an article about my "quest for a great cuban sandwich" here in Boston, but part of what Im writting about is how in all these years I have not been able to define this elusive sandwich beyond the pork leg, smoked ham and cheese made in a sandwich press.

Does anyone have any firsthand cuban from cuba sandwich experience? What would you say makes a perfect one?
Miami!
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:56 PM   #4
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Miami!
Well yeah, my godparents were from Cuba and they seemed to enjoy the Miami version. Never thought to question it's authenticity and it's too late to ask so......
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:15 PM   #5
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Check out this older thread.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiritboxer
Heh, I just ate one an hour or so ago. I'd add thinly sliced pickle, mayo and mojito (a garlic/oil condiment) to the afore mentioned ingredients and the cheese could be perhaps, swiss. I must mention I've never made one myself but the latino bakery nearby really does it well. Btw, I'm kinda vague on this but in Miami they use what I believe is pan de manteca, a bread made with lard, which may add to it's authenticity.
In my book, you are quite spot on, save the addition of mayonnaise. I've always had it with the garlic/oil and a smattering of mustard.
Baked ham with some of the au jus, swiss cheese and good cuban bread. Then, all you need is a grill and a brick.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:21 AM   #7
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Salud, VeraBlue. I'll have to try it with mustard.
This is waaay off topic but I'm having a really good laugh at my own expense. My first gig was back in the early '60s with a latin/jazz group playing cuban based music at a place called The Club Cubano up in the Bronx. Not one Cuban in the band...
I studied Karate with a Puerto Rican, Tai Chi with a Japanese and Reiki with a psychic from Jersey. I'm coming to the conclusion I've never done anything authentic in my entire life. Enjoyed the heck out of it all though. On the upside, one of my crew is from Cuba, I'll see him Sunday and get to the bottom of all this.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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Nice, you guys are extremely helpful. Personally I grew up thinking that a cuban sandwich HAD to have a smattering of black beans because that's how they made 'em in my hometown in Mexico. That's the main reason Im asking for recipes, to see what the original looks like and gather some variations.

I had a decent one last night from Yelies Cafe which is a latino place across the street from the projects here in Jackson Square. The cuban sandwich was pretty good: the pork and ham where great, both doing their part. The cheese was yellow slices but abundant enough to do its job of being gooey. It had plenty of lettuce, tomato and onion which I always enjoy. For condiments it had a good dab of mayo (which I dont mind) but the inclusion of ketchup was unecesarily sweet and slightly detracted from the overall sandwich. The first one on my list is like a 3/5 (extra points for being gooey, warm and having perfect meat in it) but next up I've got all star sandwich shop (won a ton of prizes last year), Oriental de Cuba (THE most famous in town) and maybe Sonsies where I had a totally chic sandwich once with plantain chips.

Oh yeah, I got some tostones too. It was sad because their food is usually super fresh but the ones I got had sat for a little bit. Oh well...
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:50 AM   #9
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Lugaru:

I'd start with the ham, pork, pickle and cheese. I think anything else becomes a modification. There is no one original version. This is like most foods. There are slightly different versions in every household. Each person would have had his own version.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:06 AM   #10
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Two places to try for your article:

Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain and Chez Henri in Cambridge.

Please, you must try the cuban sammies at Oriental de Cuba. It's in Hyde Square right across the street from the Hi Lo supermarket (another cool foodie place).
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