The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers
By Andrew T. Huse, Dr. Bárbara Cruz and Jeff Houck
Scheduled For Release Sept. 2, 2022 By University Press Of Florida
The Cuban Sandwich: A History In Layers
How did the Cuban sandwich become a symbol for a displaced people, win the hearts and bellies of America, and claim a spot on menus around the world? The odyssey of the Cubano begins with its hazy origins in the midnight cafés of Havana, from where it evolved into a dainty high-class hors d’oeuvre and eventually became a hearty street snack devoured by cigar factory workers. In "The Cuban Sandwich," three devoted fans—Andrew T. Huse, Bárbara C. Cruz, and Jeff Houck—sort through improbable vintage recipes, sift gossip from Florida old-timers, and wade into the fearsome Tampa vs. Miami sandwich debate (is adding salami necessary or heresy?) to reveal the social history behind how this delicacy became a lunch-counter staple in the U.S. and beyond.
The authors also interview artisans who’ve perfected the high arts of creating and combining expertly baked Cuban bread, sweet ham, savory roast pork, perfectly melted Swiss cheese, and tangy, crunchy pickles. Tips and expert insight for making Cuban sandwiches at home will have readers savoring the history behind each perfect bite.
Meet The Authors
Andrew T. Huse
Andrew Huse works as a librarian who specializes in archives at the University of South Florida Tampa Library's Special Collections. He writes, speaks and cooks about history when he can. His past work includes the centennial history of the Columbia restaurant (2009) and his latest book is called "From Saloons to Steakhouses: A History of Tampa." (2020) With Noel Smith and Wenceslau Galvez, Huse also co-authored "Tampa: Impressions of an Emigrant," an annotated translation of a rare book from 1896. (2020) All of his books are published through the University Press of Florida.
Jeff Houck is vice president of marketing for the Columbia Restaurant Group in Tampa. He spent 25 years in newspaper and multimedia journalism, most recently as a features editor, food writer and podcaster at the Tampa Tribune. He has written for Thrillist, FoxSports.com, The Palm Beach Post, The Miami Herald and The Anchorage Times.
Dr. Bárbara C. Cruz
Dr. Bárbara C. Cruz is Professor of Social Science Education at the University of South Florida. She has been a faculty member at USF since 1991, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, conducting research on global and multicultural issues, and providing professional service to a number of educational organizations and initiatives.
Dr. Cruz has published and presented extensively, focusing her scholarship on diversity and equity issues. For her role as an activist-scholar she has received several awards including the Hispanic Pathways Award, Outstanding Faculty Research Achievement Award, the FCSS International Relations Award, and the Carter G. Woodson Book Award for Multiethnic Teens and Cultural Identity and César Chávez: A Voice for Farmworkers. In addition to academic publications, she is the author of several biographies of inspirational Latinos and Latin Americans such as Frida Kahlo, Rubén Blades, Raúl Juliá, and Jose Clemente Orozco.
Dr. Cruz was born in Cuba but has spent most of her life in the U.S. As an English language learner herself, she is particularly interested in this student population and works to increase access to quality education for all students.
Her present research is on the history and impact of the Cuban sandwich -- in the context of the Cuban exile experience, the global marketplace of popular culture, and as a new American classic.