More Latinos could be coming to TV, this time in the form of the show “Las Reinas,” a Miami-based cop drama featuring a Latina detective named Sonya De La Reina. ABC has ordered a pilot for the series, which centers on De La Reina, a police officer whose family just so happens to be one of the most notorious criminal organizations in Miami. The show has been in limbo for several years, as Deadline reported back in 2014. At that time, the main character’s name was Alex De La Reina, though the plot seems to have remained largely the same since the pilot was first reported.
“Las Reinas” is executive produced by Nicholas Pepper and Mark Gordon, who has also served as executive producer on “Quantico” and “Criminal Minds.” Rounding out the executive producers is Dean Georgaris, who also wrote the pilot episode of “Las Reinas,” which is currently listed as “in production” on IMDB.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last year, Miami made PETA’s “Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Cities” list for the first time ever, and for good reason. For all the stereotypes around white vegans, once again, people of color are often ignored for their contributions to the animal rights movement. Next time you’re in Miami, trust that these beans have no lard and these croquetas are jamón-free.
Without further ado, here are all the vegan Latinos making moves and gifting us vegan food in Miami.
CREDIT: @sacredspacemiami / Instagram
Chef Horacio Rivadero and Pastry Chef Veronica Manolizi come together to give us vegan and gluten-free tostadas, papaya confit, curry arepas, and fennel ceviche. All this on a patio lined with guava trees.
Charly’s Vegan Tacos
CREDIT: @charlysvegantacos / Instagram
Chef Charly was working as an executive chef in Mexico City when he learned how animal agriculture is decimating the earth. He decided to open his own 100 percent vegan taquería in Tulum and Miami and business is booming.
Vegan Cuban Cuisine
CREDIT: @vegancubancuisine / Instagram
Currently, VCC is only available via delivery, but you’ll find their vegan flan, sandwiches, and croquetas at some vegan establishments. Pro tip: Aguacate Wellness is known to carry their croquetas.
Choices Organic Café
CREDIT: @thevshopsfoodhall / Instagram
Choices Organic Café gives us traditional Mexican and Latin flavors without compromising on organic, non-GMO quality. Enjoy soyrizo quesadillas, or build your own burrito or bowl, where plantains and guacamole count as a ‘veggie’ option. That’s right. The guac is NOT extra.
CREDIT: @edukosmiami / Instagram
Nestled in Little Havana, Edukos gives us twists on Venezuelan classics. It’s not entirely vegan, but offers impossible meat pasticho del valle, plantain hummus with mushroom soffit stuffed grape leaves and incredible flavors.
CREDIT: @msbunniecakes / Instagram
Mariana Cortez founded Bunnie Cakes Studio after she couldn’t find a birthday cake for her dairy-allergic son. The studio will decorate fabulous vegan cakes for you, teach you to decorate your own cupcakes or cake, and hosts workshops, ranging from Frida Kahlo decorations to Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches.
Home Sweet Earth
CREDIT: @homesweetearthmiami / Instagram
Bakery Chef Sabrina Carranza is giving Miami all the vegan postres we need. From the frosting-coated cinnamon rolls to Cuban guava pastelitos, your Latinx sweet tooth is covered.
The Spanglish Vegan
CREDIT: @thespanglishvegan305 / Instagram
This institution has only cropped up in the last few weeks and already the reviewers are raving. The Spanglish Vegan is giving us all our classic favorites, like mofongo and yucca, with vegan carne asada and shredded jackfruit.
Plant Theory Botanical Cafe
CREDIT: @gablaw876 / Instagram
Serving you all vegan meals, including brunch, at the Whitelaw Hotel, Plant Theory is not a tapas place. Enjoy hearty meals, including a guava BBQ jackfruit burgers,
Vegan and Juice
CREDIT: @veganandjuice / Instagram
Their Instagram game is weak, but that’s because its vegan Dominican flavors are strong. You can get El Plato del Día for just $9 and pick four of whatever is remade for the day, from malanga pastelon, platanos maduras and empanadas. It’s probably the most affordable, authentic vegan place in Miami but don’t expect organic labels or compostable to go containers. Pack your own.
CREDIT: @glam.vegan_ / Instagram
Enjoy jackfruit tacos, watermelon ceviche and tres leches cake at GLAM vegan. It’s not a classic Latin restaurant, but about a third of its menu are made up of vegan twists on Latin classics.
Love Life Cafe
CREDIT: @lovelife_cafe / Instagram
While not entirely vegan, everything here is plant-based and rico. Try the sancocho soup, any of their arepas, or this pictured picadillo bowl made from Beyond meat. Tengo hombre.
Happy Vegan Bakers
CREDIT: @happyveganbakers / Instagram
This Colombian owned bakery is a hole in the wall, and also boasts as the first all vegan pastelito establishment in Miami. Come through for papa rellenos, croquetas, and even tamales.
My Roots Juice Bar
CREDIT: @myrootsjuicebar / Instagram
Yes, this is a juice bar, but it’s serving Miamians what we need: Cayenne Mango smoothies, frijoles bowls and so many empanadas. Choose from “Supreme,” “Tropical,” Spinach and Mushroom varieties of gluten-free, vegan empanadas.
CREDIT: @mannalifefood / Instagram
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CREDIT: @vegan_schmegan_bakery / Instagram
CREDIT: @aguacate_sanctuaryoflove / Instagram
CREDIT: @tacochidotaqueria / Instagram
It’s hard to find authentic Mexican food in South Florida, but when you do, you go often. This taquería has only been open a couple weeks and is creating buzz for it’s vegan longaniza, soyrizo and mushroom tacos. Take your carnivorous friends y disfruten.
St. Roch Market
CREDIT: @st.rochmarket / Instagram
In the heart of Miami’s Design District is this food hall with a wide variety of cuisines. Check out Chef Chloe’s vegan tacos and avocado coconut soft serve!