Culture

The New York Times Sparked A War Over The Home Of The Cuban Sandwich And Here’s How People From Miami And Tampa Are Acting

The Cuban sandwich is one of the most iconic foods in Latino culture and its history, while documented, is hotly contested. Both Miami and Tampa proudly claim to be the home of the Cuban sandwich everyone knows and loves today. The New York Times, maybe accidentally, reignited the debate over the Cuban sandwich’s home with their crossword puzzle and now there’s a war raging in Florida.

The New York Times asked crossword puzzle players to name the home of the Cuban sandwich.

Credit: @NYTimesWordplay / Twitter

While people consider Miami the home because of the well-known Cuban community, the answer was Tampa. Of course, Miamians got upset and took to Twitter to let the world know that they believe the Cuban sandwich is from Miami.

The City of Miami’s Twitter page decided to fire the first shot in the social media debate.

That’s a really big claim considering that the Cuban sandwich did not in fact start in Miami. Sorry about it, bro.

Obviously, the City of Tampa had to get involved to let Miami know that they are watching.

It is kind of satisfying to watch two Florida cities warring over who started the Cuban sandwich. While both claim to be the home of the Cuban sandwich, it is important to understand how the Cuban population moved within the state.

The City of Tampa even came through with an informative video showing how the Cuban sandwich shows the diversity of the Ybor neighborhood.

The video breaks down all of the ingredients in the Cuban sandwich and how they represent all of the communities that called Ybor City home. The melting pot of cultures led to an influx in various immigrants calling Ybor City home. Ybor City is a cigar manufacturing neighborhood built by Cuban, Spanish, and Italian immigrants.

Other Twitter users injected themselves into the debate.

Credit: @C47 / Twitter

Let’s go ahead and lay out one thing. Miami is not the home to the Cuban sandwich. The sooner we all accept that fact, the better our society will be. The Cuban sandwich first documented appearance was in Tampa in the 1880s in workers’ cafés. There was a migration of Cuban people to Tampa to work in the cigar industry.

A few people took a stand for Tampa as the home of the Cuban sandwich and they aren’t wrong.

Credit: @keith_browning / Twitter

Clearly, the first Cuban sandwich started in Cuba with the indigenous Taíno people. From there, it made its way to Florida because travel between Cuba and Florida was easy in the 1800s as the tobacco and cigar industry grew. Tampa became a major location for the cigar industry in the 1880s and it wasn’t long until the city was home to a large Cuban population.

People were really eager to make everyone know that Tampa is where the Cuban sandwich came from.

Credit: @Scottyyz / Twitter

As part of defending their city’s honor, some Twitter users have taken to dragging Miami. Miami might be the epicenter of all thing Cuban and Cuban-American now but that was not the case when the Cuban sandwich came to life. Believe it or not, there was a time in history when the larger Cuban community of Florida was in Tampa.

Yet, despite the facts, some people still claim that Tampa is not where the Cuban sandwich originated.

Credit: @MrBravoJr / Twitter

Miami is literally filled with Cuban sandwiches. You can’t go anywhere in that city without a chance to get your hands on a delicious and savory piece of Cuban history. However, quantity does not mean that Miami is the home and originator of the Cuban sandwich. That is a fact. We will even go so far to say that not even Tampa is the true home of the Cuban sandwich.

However, we’d like to bring one more city to the fight: Key West.

Credit: @CJintheKeys / Twitter

That’s right. Before Tampa became the destination for Cuban immigrants and workers, Key West was home to the cigar industry. Thousands of Cubans worked in Key West because it is the closest U.S. city to Cuba. As such, a lot of Cuban culture has made its way to the U.S. by way of Key West.

Basically, Tampa and Miami have had an ongoing feud over who created the Cuban sandwich when the real creator of the delicious meal has been Key West all along.

Key West might not have documented the existence of the Cuban sandwich but there is no doubt that the city brought the sandwich to the U.S. Much like the sloppy joe, Key West was a place where Cuban people and foods have entered the U.S. for centuries and has received little to no credit for its importance for the Cuban community.

The Cuban tobacco industry first made the jump from Cuba to the U.S. in Key West. The small city at the tip of the islands between the Florida mainland and Cuban is a humble one filled with historic and important moments in Cuban culinary history.

So, while The New York Times might have Miami and Tampa feuding, Key West is being the bigger city and quietly knowing they are the true home to the Cuban sandwich.

The sandwich, which was a fast and affordable lunch for tobacco workers, is one that has become a defining example of Cuban culture. No matter where you find a Cuban, there are six main ingredients to ensure the best recipe. It’s all about the bread, ham, roast pork, mustard, Swiss cheese, and pickles. You don’t have to know the history of the Cuban sandwich to enjoy it, but it helps.

READ: Check Out These Croqueta Recipes If You Need Some Good Cuban Comfort Food

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In Cuba, Where Food Is Unreliable, Savvy Cooks Have Turned to Facebook to Share Recipes

Culture

In Cuba, Where Food Is Unreliable, Savvy Cooks Have Turned to Facebook to Share Recipes

Photo via Getty Images

COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for Cubans. Not only have Cubans been physically affected by the virus like the rest of the world, but the drop in the island’s gross domestic product has stymied local economic productivity. The island can no longer look to tourism to add to their GDP.

Because of this drop in GDP, food shortages on the island have become more severe than in recent memory. And Cuban cooks are feeling the effects.

Cubans must stand in line for hours at markets with no guarantees that the ingredients that they want will be available.

This way of living is especially hard for Cuban cooks, like 39-year-old Yuliet Colón. For Colón, cooking is both a creative expression and a stress reliever. “The kitchen is my happy place, where I am calmer and I feel better,” she recently revealed to the Associated Press.

Yuliet Colón is one of the creators of a Facebook page called Recetas del Corazón that has changed the cooking game for thousands of Cubans.

Now, thanks to Colón and other curious and generous Cuban cooks like her, Recipes from the Heart is now 12,000 members strong.

The goal of the page is to help struggling Cuban cooks cope with food shortages. Members of the page share creative recipes, tips, and food substitutions. Launched in June of 2020, the page was an instant success. Its success proves that Cubans have been desperate to find ways to adapt their cooking to the post-COVID-era.

To AP News, Yuliet Colón laments about the lack of rice, beans, cheese, fruit, and, most of all, eggs. “What I like the most is making desserts, but now it’s hard to get eggs, milk or flour,” she revealed.

The brightside is, however, that Cuban cooks are finally able to share food-related tips and tricks with each other on a much larger scale than they were before the internet became more widespread in the country.

Now that many Cubans have access to communication apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, they can now connect with one another and make the most of what they have–however little that may be.

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A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Culture

A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Social media is where people can show off just about anything they create. This includes art in any and all media, like pancake art. Claudia, the creator behind Nappan Pancake art, is the latest artist watching their art reach the masses.

Claudia, the artist behind Nappan Pancake art, got her start because of the pandemic.

The artist first started to play around with pancake art last spring break when the pandemic forced businesses and schools to close. Claudia wanted to get more creative with her kids’ breakfasts since they were now always at home.

“I started experimenting with making Pancake art,” Claudia recalls to mitú. “At first I only used the color of the natural dough and a little cocoa. At first, I just used the ketchup dispensers and little by little I learned.”

Claudia uses her pancake art to honor some truly iconic people.

@nappancakes

Responder a @detodoun_poco233 Cepillín ✨🥞✨ en nuestros ♥️ #parati #fy #HijosAdopTiktoks #adoptiktoks #viral #foryou @cepillintv #pancakeart ncakeart

♬ La Feria de Cepillin – Cepillín

Cepillín recently died and the loss was felt throughout the community. He made our lives joyous and fun with his music, especially his birthday song. Some of the creations are done for fans who request to see their faves turned into delicious pancake art.

The artist loves creating the edible works of art.

The journey of becoming a pancake artist has been a fun adventure for Claudia and her children. The more she has practiced, the more she has been able to do.

“Sometimes I scream with excitement and I go to all the members of my house to see it,” Claudia says about her successes. “Other times it’s just a feeling like “disappointment could be better” other times it just breaks or burns and then I just cry but it usually feels very satisfying.”

You can check out all of her creations on TikTok.

@nappancakes

Responder a @reyna100804santoyo siii🥞✨ díganle que me adopte 🥺 @ederbez #adoptiktoks #hijosadoptiktoks #parati #foryou #viral #fy #art #pancakeart

♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

With 350,000 followers and growing, it won’t be long until more people start to fully enjoy Claudia’s art. Her children can’t get enough of it and she is so excited to share it with the rest of the world.

READ: Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

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