The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers


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A delicious, multilayered tale of a legendary sandwich  

Florida Book Awards, Gold Medal for Cooking

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Best of the Bay Awards, “Best Approach to Pressing Matters”


How did the Cuban sandwich become a symbol for a displaced people, win the hearts and bellies of America, and claim a spot on menus around the world? The odyssey of the Cubano begins with its hazy origins in the midnight cafés of Havana, from where it evolved into a dainty high-class hors d’oeuvre and eventually became a hearty street snack devoured by cigar factory workers. In The Cuban Sandwich, three devoted fans—Andrew Huse, Bárbara Cruz, and Jeff Houck—sort through improbable vintage recipes, sift gossip from Florida old-timers, and wade into the fearsome Tampa vs. Miami sandwich debate (is adding salami necessary or heresy?) to reveal the social history behind how this delicacy became a lunch-counter staple in the US and beyond.

The authors also interview artisans who’ve perfected the high arts of creating and combining expertly baked Cuban bread, sweet ham, savory roast pork, perfectly melted Swiss cheese, and tangy, crunchy pickles. Tips and expert insight for making Cuban sandwiches at home will have readers savoring the history behind each perfect bite.  

Publication of this work is made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813072531
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 09/02/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 180
File size: 15 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Andrew T. Huse is curator of Florida Studies at University of South Florida Libraries and the author of From Saloons to Steak Houses: A History of Tampa
Bárbara C. Cruz is professor of social science education and codirector of the InsideART project at the University of South Florida. 
Jeff Houck is vice president of marketing for the Columbia Restaurant Group and previously worked as food editor, writer, and blogger for the Tampa Tribune.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Pearl 5

Copeland and Tony Moré Jr., La Segunda Central Bakery (Tampa) 13

Richard Gonzmart, The Columbia Restaurant (Tampa) 18

2 Sandwiches 24

Claudio Rodríguez, Morrison Meat Packers (Miami) 39

Nicole Vails, Versailles Restaurant (Miami) 42

3 Cigar Cities 45

Carlos Gazitua, Sergio's Restaurant (Miami) 58

Gilbert Arriaza Sr. and Gilbert Arriaza Jr., Gilbert's Bakery (Miami) 61

Ignacio Alfonso Jr., El Artesano Restaurant (Union City, New Jersey) 62

4 Magic Cities 65

Norman Van Aken, Chef and Author (Miami) 77

Melinda Lopez, Playwright and Performer (Boston, Massachusetts) 82

Michelle Bernstein, Cafe La Trova (Miami) 84

5 Exile and Resilience 89

Dennis Martínez Miranda, Cubanidad 1885 (Las Vegas, Nevada) 107

Carlos Argüelles, The Cuban Sandwich Factory (Belfast, Ireland) 110

6 Feast and Famine 113

Daniel Figueredo and Rosa Romero, Sanguich de Miami (Miami) 125

Andrew Tambuzzo, The Boozy Pig (Tampa) 131

7 Going Global 135

The Staff of Cook's Country: Test Kitchen Chefs 144

Acknowledgments 151

Notes 153

Index 163

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A fascinating blend of Cuban history, American culinary history, and stories of some of our country’s best chefs carrying on the tradition of this great preparation. Who’d have thought a sandwich was a linchpin in our culture? Well done!”—Michael Ruhlman, author of Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America

“A compelling, readable history that explores themes of exile, diaspora, industry, modernity, and culinary exchange.”—Sara Camp Milam, managing editor, Southern Foodways Alliance

“Traces the complex and often contested history of the Cuban sandwich. Readers will be left craving the Cuban sandwich in its different variants.”—Luis Martínez-Fernández, author of Revolutionary Cuba: A History

Customer Reviews