The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers

Univ. of Florida. Sept. 2022. 180p. ISBN 9780813069388. pap. $24.95. COOKING
This title by University of South Florida faculty Huse (Florida studies) and Bárbara Cruz (social science education) and former Tampa Tribune food editor Jeff Houck takes readers on a culinary journey. It opens with the history of colonial Cuba, moves through the waves of migration in the 20th century, and uses the layered Cuban sandwich as a metaphor for the tiers of identity experienced by generations of Cubans living in the United States. The authors explore the history of the sandwich through the lens of the modern diaspora via interviews with well-respected, multigenerational bakers, chefs, meat packers, and owners of renowned Cuban bakeries, sandwich shops, and restaurants, while also providing readers with tips and recipes on how to make their own sandwich at home.
VERDICT The authors note that their research was limited by pandemic travel restrictions and the dearth of written sources available in the United States. That said, this is an excellent, approachable resource on Cuban history told through the complexities of a beloved food item. Highly recommended for foodies and history buffs.
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