We LOVE the 50 nifty United States of this awesome country and believe each state is special. Every Monday we feature a sandwich unique to its state as part of our “50 Sandwiches, 50 States, 50 Weeks” series beginning with Alabama and ending with Wyoming.
Hey everyone! As we continue down our weekly path spotlighting a sandwich from each of the 50 states, we have now made it to the state of Florida. Florida is known for many things such as Disney World, Sea World, beaches, alligators, Margaritaville, a hurricane or two and down in the southern reaches of the state, a strong Cuban influence. Florida is only 9o miles from the island of Cuba and for years, Cubans have been traveling to the southern region of the state for work as well as in search of a new place to call home: the Cuban sandwich came with them.
Nobody can truly trace the origins of the sandwich back to any one time, place or person. Yet it’s well known that the combination of slow cooked pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles served on traditional flat, Cuban style bread was a favorite of cigar and sugar workers in Cuba during the nineteenth century.
It’s thought that the sandwich was brought to Florida by workers who came to both Key West and Tampa for work as well as by family members who came to visit. One historian, Dr. Loy Glenn Westfall, suggests that the Cuban sandwich was “born in Cuba and educated in Key West.” Got that from our friends at Wikipedia.
The sandwich we created for this post is more of what they call “Tampa” style, as it includes Genoa salami, thought to be an addition to the tradition by the fine residents of that city. You’ll also notice that we substituted a sub roll for the Cuban flatbread as we just didn’t have success locating the bread; the local grocery stores came up..well….flat.
Wherever or how ever the sandwich was created is a bit of a mystery, but we are very happy that it came to be. Hat’s off to Florida this Monday and the Cuban sandwich! So, get your crockpot knockin’ while you’re out rockin’ and come home to whip this one up for your family soon!
- 3.5 lbs pork butt (Boston butt)
- 10 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, quartered
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup lime juice
- 1 tsp. each Mexican oregano, salt
- ½ tsp. each black pepper, cumin
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ pound sliced deli ham
- ½ pound sliced Genoa salami
- ½ pound Swiss cheese
- dill pickles
- Sub Rolls
- butter, softened
- Place garlic, onions, orange juice, lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a slow cooker; stir to combine
- Place pork on top of mixture, cover and turn heat on low. Cook 6-8 hours.
- Once pork has finished cooking, place on a cutting board and shred into large chunks.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Open sub rolls and spread mustard on each side
- Layer the bottom of the roll with ham and salami and pickle slices
- Next, pile pulled pork on top of the pickles
- Place Swiss cheese slices on top of pork.
- Close the sub roll and lightly butter both the top and bottom
- Wrap sandwich in foil and place in oven for 5-10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt and roll to toast a bit.