“If Life gives you bread, make a sandwich”. We all love sandwiches whether it is an egg sandwich or bacon sandwich or bacon and egg sandwich or baked bean sandwich. There are a lot of them but have you ever thought of having a sandwich while hanging out on some really amazingly beautiful beaches with a Coke or some Juice. Yeah, it’s Miami. Miami Beach is everything you have heard but you have to see it for yourself. We have seen it in movies, in shows and it is one of the most popular vacation spot too. But it is more than just beaches. The holiday in Miami can not be said completely enjoyed if you haven’t enjoyed the Cubano Sandwich, which is considered a legendary icon of Miami.
Also called, the Cuban Sandwich, comprises of thinly sliced ham and roast pork layered with Swiss Cheese, a crisp pickle and yellow mustard served on sliced Cuban bread. Just thinking about it, is mouth watering then you can imagine how it would feel having it. No one is quite certain exactly where and when the Cuban sandwich was invented. Cuban sandwiches were common on cafeteria and restaurant menus in Cuba by the 1930.
How it is made?
A quite simple recipe is adopted for Cuban sandwich. It starts with selecting the best fresh from the bakery Cuban Bread. The most important part is the bread. Believers say that true Cuban bread can not be found outside of Tampa or Miami. Italian bread or French bread are acceptable substitutions in other parts of the country but they are not the same. Cuban bread is noted for its split or bloom down the middle of its crust. Cuban Bread is best when it is eaten on the same day it is made, as it contains lard. After a day or so, the lard hardens and the bread gets dry.
Each Cuban sandwich is made to order with the highest quality hand cut meats and cheese. However in Miami, every place providing Cuban sandwich believes in their own version of it just to make it more delicious. Actually the sandwich makers here will readily debate among themselves the finer point of how to make a Cuban sandwich.
The key to a great, versus a good, Cuban sandwich lies in the grilling. A great Cuban sandwich is grilled in a sandwich press, which is called a Plancha, until the ham, pork and pickles have warmed in their own steam. One of the greatest sins in Cuban sandwich preparation is too light a press. A heavy hand on the press pushes all the juices and flavors together while still achieving the desired crunch trust. These sandwiches use no mayonnaise, lettuce, onions, bell peppers or tomatoes; however, butter and mustard are optional. Cuban sandwiches are sold hot or cold.
Where to get it
There are many varieties of Cuban sandwiches you can find in Miami as many different restaurants and food places are offering them.
If you want the classic “Cubano” then there is no better place to go than the most classic Cuban Restaurant, Versailles. They proclaim that their Cuban sandwich is sweet ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese on toasted Cuban bread with mustard pickles. It costs $ 5.95 per piece but there is also the Calle Ocho special which adds turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes in $ 7.95 only and make it a more delicious experience for you.
Enriqueta’s Sandwich shop
Anyone who has driven by Enriqueta’s knows that it serves one of the best Cuban sandwiches not just in Miami but on the entire planet. The owner here ,Jose Luis Pla got inspiration from the cooking style of his native Matanzas, Cuba. The Cuban here features many variations like midnight Cuban, which serves ham and roast pork on a slightly sweeter bread and is topped with papitas mustard, mozzarella and mayonnaise and thinly sliced pair of pickle strips and this all in around $ 5.75 only.
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Famous chef Alfredo Patino, the former chef at the South Beach Ritz, Carlton, opened this European roadside café in 2004 and introduced a sandwich called “the deconstructed Cuban sandwich”. In it, the bread is prepared by toasting it, then rubbing garlic, olive oil and fresh tomato on the inside. The front legs of the pigs roast six hours in mojo sauce and onions before being shredded into thin strips. The resulting meat is put on the tumaca with French Triple cream and baked and served with a delectable fig and port wine reduction sauce and Dijon cream sauce.
Tinta y Café
This café’s take on the traditional Cuban sandwich features the usual ingredients of ham, pork, cheese, pickles and mustard. Selections vary according to the meat – usually ham, pork or turkey and type of bread. La noche entera is served on sweet bread and guajiro features ham, Swiss cheese and Tinta’s special mojo de la casa sauce.
The simple ingredients of Cubano make for a surprisingly complex flavor and as you read, there are actually many varieties of Cuban sandwiches that can be found in Miami. If you are in Miami then Cuban Sandwich is seriously a must eat.