Food/Groups

The Florida City That Created Cubanos (It's Not Miami)

Editor's Note: This is an episode of Food/Groups, Thrillist's YouTube series based on the deep, delicious relationships between different communities and the foods/food rituals by which they define themselves. Subscribe to Thrillist's YouTube channel and tune in for a brand-new episode every Monday.

When you think about Cubans in Florida, you might not think of Tampa. But you should! Sure, TODAY, Miami has the biggest concentration of Cuban-Americans in the state -- and the country, for that matter.

But back in the 19th century, before Miami was even a CITY, it was here, in Tampa, that the cigar industry boomed and the iconic Cuban sandwich was born. You know: soft Cuban bread, shredded pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and -- as is custom ONLY in Tampa -- Genoa salami. And while Miami basks in its well-deserved reputation as the epicenter of modern Cuban America, 400,000 Tampans patiently wait for their town to get its historic cubano due. 

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