National Cuban Sandwich Day Date in the current year: August 23, 2024

National Cuban Sandwich Day August 23 is the perfect day to have a delicious ham and cheese sandwich for lunch because it is National Cuban Sandwich Day. Despite its name and origin, this sandwich is primarily associated with Florida rather than Cuba.

A Cuban sandwich is a variation of the ham and cheese sandwich. It is made with crusty Cuban bread, ham and roasted pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and dill pickles. Other ingredients may include salami, lettuce, and tomatoes. Once assembled, the sandwich is often toasted in a sandwich press until the cheese begins to melt and the bread becomes slightly crispy.

The origin of the Cuban sandwich is murky, but it is generally believed that it was created in Key West or Tampa, Florida in the second half of the 19th century. The Cuban sandwich most likely originated in cafes popular among Cuban immigrants who had come to Florida to work at cigar factories and sugar mills. By the 1960s, Cuban expatriates had brought the sandwich to Miami, where it became common in restaurants and cafeteria.

The Cuban sandwich is made slightly differently in different parts of Florida. The sandwich usually includes salami in Tampa, where the recipe has been altered due to the culinary influence of the local Italian diaspora, but it does not include salami in South Florida. A variant popular in Key West contains lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, which is not common and even frowned upon in Miami and Tampa.

Miami and Tampa have a long-running semi-joking rivalry regarding the Cuban sandwich, with both cities claiming to be home to the best Cuban sandwiches. In 2012, the Tampa City Council even designated the “Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich” as Tampa’s signature sandwich, which led to what some Florida journalists dubbed as the “Cuban sandwich crisis”.

While the origins of most food days are unclear, National Cuban Sandwich Day is an exception. The holiday was conceived by Christopher Spata, a journalist working for The Tampa Bay Times, in 2016. Spata wanted to test whether he could create a new food holiday that would stick. He chose the date of August 23 because it had only one other food holiday, National Sponge Cake Day, and Spata felt like very few people actually cared about celebrating sponge cakes.

Years later, we can confirm that Spata’s experiment has been successful; people do celebrate National Cuban Sandwich Day, even though some think of it as a hoax. If you take food-related holidays seriously, you definitely shouldn’t care what others think. Celebrate the deliciousness that is a Cuban sandwich to your heart’s content.

How to observe National Cuban Sandwich Day? You can go out to a restaurant or cafe that has Cuban sandwiches on the menu (some restaurants offer specials to celebrate the holiday, don’t miss out on them!) or make your own Cuban sandwiches at home and invite your friends over for lunch. Don’t forget to share photos of your mouth-watering sandwich on social media with the hashtag #NationalCubanSandwichDay to spread the word and encourage others to indulge.

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National Cuban Sandwich Day, unofficial holidays, food days, holidays in the US, Cuban sandwich, ham and cheese sandwich