National Cuban Sandwich Day, celebrated on August 23, is a celebration of enjoying the original Cuban sandwich. Today, this foreign dish has become popular in the United States, and its popularity has spread beyond the state of Florida. A Cuban sandwich is an oblong Cuban bread cut in half and smeared with mustard. The filling is layered and consists of fried pork, ham, Swiss cheese and thinly sliced pickles.
The Cuban sandwich, also known as a “Cubano,” is a traditional sandwich that has its roots in the 19th century. It was commonly consumed by workers in sugar mills and cigar factories in Cuba. When Cubans immigrated to Florida, they brought the sandwich with them and it quickly became popular in places like Key West, West Tampa, and Ybor City. In the early 1900s, it was already being served in cafes in these areas. In 1934, a Tampa newspaper published a recipe that included salami, which may have been added by Italian workers. By the 1960s, the sandwich had become a popular dish in Miami.
- The Cuban sandwich may have originated from an indigenous Cuban dish that featured casabe bread, fish, and poultry and was prepared by the Taino Indians.
- Before the introduction of National Cuban Sandwich Day in Tampa in 2012, the sandwich was dubbed “Tampa’s Historic Cuban Sandwich” in a playful rivalry with Miami for the “second home” of the sandwich.
- When making Cuban bread, wet palmetto leaves are placed on the dough before baking to add flavor.
How to take part
- To celebrate National Cuban Sandwich Day, make some delicious sandwiches for your family or friends.
- Visit a restaurant that serves Cuban sandwiches and enjoy one.
- Share your celebration on social media by posting a photo and using the hashtag #NationalCubanSandwichDay.
When is National Cuban Sandwich Day celebrated in 2023?
National Cuban Sandwich Day is observed on August 23 each year.