Cuban sandwich

Photo by Bobbie O'Brien

"Bring it on!" That was Michelle Faedo's response when asked if she would put her Cuban Sandwich up against one from Miami.

WUSF interviewed Michelle and her husband, Robert Faedo, when Tampa City Council was considering its vote to make the "Cuban" its signature sandwich in April.

Saturday May 26 in Ybor City's Centennial Park there's an event billed as the Cuban Sandwich Festival where the best Cuban sandwich in Florida will be judged.

Restaurants from Tampa and Miami have been invited to compete.

But, in the wake of Tampa City Council passing a resolution proclaiming the Tampa concoction the "Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich," Victor Padilla, festival co-organizer, says only one Miami eatery had the nerve to enter 'enemy' territory.

"So far we've only had one. I guess the rest chickened out," says Padilla.

After an incursion by the upstart Miami Cuban community, the people have spoken – Tampa is the true home of the Cuban sandwich.

More than 7,200 people voted at the NPR food blog, “The Salt,” and the results speak for themselves: 57 percent for Tampa, 43 percent for Miami as the true home of the Cuban sandwich.

Two cities -- Tampa and Miami -- are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own.

WUSF's Bobbie O'Brien makes the case for Tampa on based on history and taste.

Reporter Kenny Malone from Miami’s WLRN took on the assignment to defend the Miami Cuban sandwich. For him, the best defense was an offensive strategy.

If we’ve learned anything this political season -- attack ads win wars.

Two cities -- Tampa and Miami -- are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own. Last Thursday, the opening salvo was fired by Tampa City Council when it officially renamed it the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich.”

Jim Thoree

Two cities, Tampa and Miami, are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own.

A Cuban sandwich is shredded pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and dill pickles – served either cold or hot-pressed on Cuban bread. Think of it as the ham-and-cheese for the guayabera set.

Tampa’s version includes Genoa salami. Each city uses differently-shaped bread. Those are about the only substantive differences.

The Cuban Sandwich Crisis: The Case for Miami

Apr 20, 2012

Two cities, Tampa and Miami, are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own.

A Cuban sandwich is shredded pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and dill pickles – served either cold or hot-pressed on Cuban bread. Think of it as the ham-and-cheese for the guayabera set.

Tampa’s version includes Genoa salami. Each city uses differently-shaped bread. Those are about the only substantive differences.

It’s unanimous. The “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich” is now officially Tampa’s signature sandwich.

The reading of the resolution and the vote by Tampa City Council took less time – about 2 minutes – than it takes to order a Cuban at some of Tampa’s more popular lunch spots.

Councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin also wanted to trademark the term “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich.” However, she decided against the trademark when she found out the it would require anyone using the phrase to get city permission.

Tampa City Council will vote today on a resolution “designating and authenticating” the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich.” But, Miami’s Cuban community disputes Tampa’s claim to the sandwich.

The mixed meat sandwich, originally called a “mixto”, became popular in Tampa among Cuban cigar factory workers in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

The resolution specifies the ingredients of the authentic Tampa Cuban sandwich as sweet ham, mojo-marinated roast pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, mustard and Genoa salami.

You might already know about the Tampa City Council resolution to define a Cuban sandwich as the "Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich."

But did you know they might try to trademark it?

It's on the Tampa City Council agenda for Thursday. The City's legal department is scheduled to provide a report "on whether or not the City of Tampa can acquire a trademark for the 'Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich' as being Tampa's signature sandwich."

The Cuban Sandwich War

Apr 16, 2012

O.K., anyone who knows anything about the Cuban Sandwich knows it started in Tampa's Ybor City a century ago.

Cuban immigrants mixed with Italians, Germans and others to develop the pressed delicacy -- with Cuban bread, shredded pork, glazed ham, swiss cheese, Genoa salami, a pickle and mustard.

So why do folks in Miami have such trouble with the idea that Tampa is laying its rightful claim on the sandwich? Yes, they may have more Cubans...but we were there first.

The birthplace of the Cuban sandwich isn't Havana, or even Miami...it's Tampa.

Watch David Audet, Cuban sandwich afficianado who has researched the history of the sandwich.

The sandwich itself consists of sugar-cured ham, shredded pork marinated Cuban sytle, Genoa salami, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, sour pickle and authentic Cuban bread.