The History of the Cuban Sandwich


Written by Sophia Bass

I lived in Florida for nearly 5 years and was introduced to the Cubano sandwich in 2008. Since, it has been one of favorite sandwiches of all time. Cheese, ham, roasted pork, pickles, mustard, caramelized onions that melt in your mouth on toasted bread… I had never had such a delicious sandwich. After traveling around the US, I have noticed the Cubano to be popular among foodies like myself from Portland, Oregon to Miami, Florida.

While it’s called the “Cuban” sandwich after immigrants who settled in Ybor City, Tampa who influenced the sandwich, the ingredients highlight the flavors of southern Italian and German communities who also migrated there.


Mustard was a condiment that was favored by the Germans, while salami was added by the Italians, giving it exquisite flavor and taste. It’s important to note that Salami is not favored in Miami, but mainly to those in Tampa and other restaurants that prefer the Italian style.

The Cuban sandwich has become so popular around the world that it has spread from Belfast, Ireland to Seoul, Korea. There is even an annual Cuban Sandwich Festival in Ybor City that attracts cooks from around the United States.

Although the official Cubano sandwich did not originate in Cuba, it’s diverse history will introduce you to the flavors of Cuban cuisine.

If you want to travel to Cuba in 2018, check out our website for trip dates and itineraries.

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