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Aug 25, 2006 04:15 PM

Uh-Oh. Not a Good Sign

Compare this recipe for a Cubano from

to this recipe for a Cubano from this past Wednesday's NYTimes:

Okay. It's early. Real early. But this does not augur well for the sophistication, foodwise, of the audience is looking to attract. I’m not particularly interested in exchanging recipes or cooking ideas with someone who finds “honey-roasted ham” and “swiss cheese” acceptable ingredients in a Cubano. I’m concerned. Very concerned.

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  1. Actually a standard Cubano =
    Cuban bread, sliced Cuban pork roast, sliced boiled ham (sometimes this is jamon dulce, which is sweetish--I'm guessing that's where the honey ham thing came from), sliced dill pickle, and sliced mild swiss cheese. Plus yellow mustard, if that's your thing.

    So while I'm with you on not liking honey ham, the recipe is actually an approximation of a "real" Cubano.

    3 Replies
    1. re: gorboduc

      Point taken. And my bad on the Swiss cheese. But no pork? And no explanation? Still, not a good sign.

      1. re: JoanN

        True--a cuban sandwich needs pork roast, not turkey. It may be a tasty sandwich, but ham + turkey + swiss is a cubano that's mated with a Monte Christo.

        1. re: gorboduc

          Yep, and the quality of the Cuban roast pork and type of seasonings is where the unique personality comes through.

    2. Max La Rivière-Hedrick used to cook at Citizen Cake, so maybe that's the recipe for their cubano.

      1. It says Cuban-esque, not Cubano, so they are acknowledging tht this is not an authentic recipe. Given that the article is about packing your lunch to take to the office - I think they are emphasizing convenience over authenticity. Either version sounds pretty good to me!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Alice Q

          You're right, Alice Q. It does say Cuban-esque now. But it didn't when I wrote my original post earlier today. Guess someone is paying very close attention and I appreciate that.

        2. We are paying attention, yes. We might not always agree -- but in this case, the food editors decided that "Cubanesque" was a better descriptor for the sandwich. There was also general agreement that the NYT recipe sounds damn good.

          1. I think there is a tendency to "esque" up foods for the general unsuspecting public. The "they won't know the difference" attitude. The sad thing is that anymore with a few key strokes you can find authentic recipes for just about any thing you want to make. Paula Deen screwed up a Cuban Sandwich (medianoche) a baguette with ham and mayo and cheese and pickles and then grilled it. It might have been good but it was not a Medianoche or Cuban sandwich. And unless people who know better start calling them on it, it will continue. Did any of you catch PD's show on Croke Mon-sewer and Croke Madam? "The croke madam is called that because the fried egg on top makes it look kinda like a breast y'all."

            This attitude is spilling over into the general public too.
            My M-I-L has a group of ladies who plan a meal ferreting out recipes and trying to be authentic as possible, but as for their luncheon next month they decided on a European menu and she is to make Hungarian Cherry Soup. I asked where she was going to get fresh sour cherries this time of the year, maybe she could find frozen but every recipe I have ever seen, from George Lang etc. specify the cherries not be canned. So in Sept. it will be a Hungarianesque cherry soup.