Great info from Hank’s Filling Station (National Cuban Sandwich Day)
Today we’re celebrating Cuban heritage in the United States with our Hank’s Cuban Sandwich — surry ham, pulled pork, swiss cheese, house pickles, and beer mustard. Stop in today and pair your Cuban with Benchtop Brewing’s Proven Theory IPA to set your Friday moving in the right direction!
Traditional Cuban sandwich fun facts:
- While an early cousin of the Cuban sandwich was born in Cuba proper, the Cuban sandwich as we know it today originated in Tampa, Florida’s cigar-producing neighborhood of Ybor City in the late 1800s (then known as Cigar City, the “cigar capital of the world”) and caught on by the early 1900s. It was popular among workers in the district’s many cigar factories.
- While it’s called a “Cuban” sandwich after the Cuban immigrants who settled in early Ybor City and influenced the sandwich the most, the ingredients are also a nod to the southern Italian bricklayers and the German cigar workers who also immigrated there.
- Salami was added via the Italian bricklayers, who found that placing a hot brick on top of the sandwich for a few minutes pressed it flat and made it taste better.
- Mustard was a condiment and flavor preferred by the Germans. It also didn’t spoil in the Florida heat. That’s why there’s no mayonnaise on a traditional Cuban sandwich–refrigeration was scarce in tropical Tampa in the early 20th century.
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