How to make the perfect Cubano sandwich

The Cuban sandwich is a staple in many homes in the Caribbean, and even further afield in the southern United States! While the origins of the ‘Cubano’ are highly debated, many agree that this variant on the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich was a quick and filling lunch for those working in Havana’s cigar factories and sugar mills, and eventually made its way to Miami by way of Cuban immigrants.

If you’re looking for a tasty and filling snack to whip up in your Havana villa, then here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Cuban bread (with a crusty outside and a fluffy centre with plenty of air pockets)
  • Olive oil (some people choose to use melted butter instead)
  • Mustard
  • Pork
  • Ham
  • Salami (debated by Cubano enthusiasts!)
  • Swiss cheese
  • Pickles (make sure they’re very thinly sliced)

Slice the bread lengthwise and lightly brush the middle with olive oil before adding mustard to both sides. Layer the fillings to assemble the sandwich. There are arguments over whether salami belongs in a traditional Cubano, but we say yes! Gently toast the bread in a panini press, lightly melting the cheese. Then dig in! It’s ideal to eat by the pool at your vacation villa in Havana after a long day!

Mojo-marinated pork

Making a Great Sandwich Better 

To make your Cubano even better, try making it with slow cooked, zingy mojo-marinated pork. You could even add lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, but be prepared to be frowned at by traditionalists! A Cuban sandwich is also great to make once you’re back home, bringing back all those great memories of your holiday in Cuba and mimicking the amazing tastes of your Caribbean islands vacations of the past. If you can’t find any Cuban bread back home, don’t worry; French and Italian breads are perfect replacements. ¡Buen provecho!


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