The Best Part of Florida: The Cubano

You can make a mouthwatering Cubano right at home with juicy, tender pork, salami (or ham), Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on a beautifully crusty bread.

Cubano sandwich

Take a stroll through Florida with the iconic Cubano sandwich. Discover the essence of this tasty creation as we explore its essential ingredients, preparation steps, and the cultural significance that makes the Cubano a laid-back part of Florida’s culinary heritage.

What is a Cubano Sandwich?

The Cubano, also known as the Cuban sandwich, is a delightful fusion originating in Cuban communities in Florida. This iconic sandwich features a combination of ham, perfectly seasoned roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami—all pressed between slices of Cuban bread.

Ingredients for a Classic Cubano:

  • Thinly sliced salami for a savory touch.
  • Perfectly seasoned roasted pork.
  • Swiss cheese, providing a creamy and nutty touch.
  • Pickles, adding a tangy crunch.
  • Mustard, for that essential zing.
  • Cuban bread, the foundation for an authentic Cubano experience.

How to Make a Classic Cubano:

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Thinly slice the ham. Season the pork to perfection, and gather Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and Cuban bread.
  • Layer the Goodness: Assemble your Cubano by layering ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a generous spread of mustard between slices of Cuban bread.
  • Press to Perfection: Utilize a panini press or a flat surface to press the sandwich until the bread achieves a golden brown hue, and the cheese melts.

What is a Cuban sandwich made of?

A Cubano is ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami—pressed between slices of Cuban bread.

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Cubano sandwich

What are the 2 types of Cuban sandwiches?

Traditional Cuban sandwiches and Cubanos are two popular variations. The Cubano specifically including ham or salami, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.

What’s the difference between a Cuban sandwich and a Cubano?

While both terms are used interchangeably, a Cuban sandwich may refer to various styles, while a Cubano specifically includes ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. A Cuban uses Salami and is known to have originated in Tampa.

What is a Dominican Cuban sandwich?

A Dominican Cuban sandwich may incorporate elements of Dominican cuisine, adding a unique twist to the traditional Cubano.

What makes a Cuban sandwich special?

The Cubano’s allure lies in its harmonious combination of ingredients. This includes ham, roasted pork, melted Swiss cheese, tangy pickles, and mustard, creating a symphony of flavors.

Are Cuban sandwiches a Florida thing?

Yes, especially the Cubano variation, Cuban sandwiches have deep roots in Florida. This sandwich is a cherished part of the state’s culinary identity.

What is a Miami Cuban sandwich?

A Miami Cuban sandwich typically features classic elements. It may have regional variations influenced by the vibrant culinary scene in Miami.

What bread is closest to Cuban?

To capture the essence of Cuban bread, opt for a quality loaf with a crispy crust. Additionally you want a soft, airy interior, similar to traditional Cuban bread.

What city is famous for its Cuban sandwiches?

Tampa and Miami have exceptional Cuban sandwiches, each with its own local flair.

Is Puerto Rican bread the same as Cuban bread?

While there are similarities, Puerto Rican bread and Cuban bread may have distinct characteristics. Experiment with both to find your preferred choice for the perfect Cubano.

Enhance your sandwich experience with this iconic recipe, perfect for sharing with friends and family. Try it today and relish the delicious blend of Cuban influences and Florida tradition in every bite.

Cubano Sandwich

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
You can make a mouthwatering Cuban sandwich right at home with juicy, tender pork, salami (or ham), Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on a beautifully crusty bread.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American, Cuban
Servings 4 sandwiches


For the pork

  • 1 3 lb pork butt
  • 1 white onion cut into chunks
  • 2 heads of garlic divided and peeled
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 8 – 10 inch Cuban loaves cut lengthwise
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • 4 large dill pickles sliced
  • 16 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 lb salami or ham

Recipe Instructions

For the pork

  • Using a food processor, process white onion and garlic cloves from one head until it's a paste.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion/garlic paste. Cook 5 – 10 minutes, stirring often, so some of the liquid evaporates. Transfer paste to a bowl and add salt, pepper, oregano, lime juice, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • While the marinade cools, cut slits into the pork and shove the remaining garlic cloves in the slits. Put pork in a large bowl or plastic bag and dump in marinade, making sure to cover all sides. Cover and marinate overnight for best results.
  • Preheat oven to 325 ℉. Place pork on a wire rack in a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 2 ½ hours. Remove foil and raise oven temp to 425 ℉. Cook for an additional 1½ hours, or until internal temp is 150 ℉.
  • Remove from oven and let rest, loosely covered in foil for 30 minutes. Slice into ¼ inch slices.

For the Sandwich

  • Spread butter over the outside of both loaf halves and inside on the bottom half. Spread mustard on the inside of the top half.
  • On the bottom piece, layer in the following order: roast pork, salami or ham, Swiss cheese, pickle and finish with the top piece of bread, mustard side down.
  • In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, carefully add the sandwich. Using a sandwich press, brick wrapped in foil or another cast iron, firmly press down. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Cut the sandwiches in half on a bias and enjoy.
Keyword cuban sandwich
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