Well now...here is the final word on the subject of Authentic Cuban Sandwiches.
(sometimes called "a sandwich mixto"
, or "Cuban Pressed Sandwich"
) were common on cafeteria
and restaurant menus in Cuba
by the 1930s, and there is evidence of them as early as the turn of the century. The sandwiches were popular with workers in Cuba's sugar mills
. Locals set up restaurants inside the mills and sold the sandwiches to the workers on their lunch breaks.
The traditional Cuban sandwich is made with Cuban bread
. The bread is cut in half and buttered on both sides. Dill pickles
, roast pork
, and Swiss cheese
are added in layers. The pork is an essential ingredient and it needs to be slow roasted with Cuban spices, giving the pork a distinct garlic
and citrus flavor. The sandwich is then lightly toasted in a sandwich press called a "plancha" until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted. The press both heats and compresses the sandwich. A traditional Cuban sandwich does not include mustard
, or tomato
The same ingredients are also used on a smaller bread made from a sweeter egg dough and called a "medianoche
" or "midnight" sandwich, so named because of the sandwich's popularity as a midnight snack.
, they add Genoa salami
to the Cuban sandwich, a variation that is unique to that area. In the early days of Ybor City
, where the Cuban sandwich was first popularized in the United States, the only ethnic group as numerous as the Cubans were the Italians. Local sandwich makers catered to their Italian clientele by adding Genoa salami to the traditional Cuban sandwich.
In Key West
, they serve a version of the Cuban Sandwich called a "Key West Mix." This variation includes mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato.
I can't agree with this article more because when I was in Key West recently I went into a Cuban Sandwich shop on Roosevelt next the Choncy Joe's, and asked them if the sandwich had lettuce and tomato etc. And they said "We put whatever on it you want and like". The key is in the good Cuban bread and the hot press!