Tampa stakes claims to Cuban sandwich

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s an age-old debate: Was the famous Cuban sandwich born in Tampa’s historic Ybor City?

Second-generation baker Bryant Valdez, who has worked at La Segunda Bakery Ybor for 32 years now, will be the first to tell you the Cuban sandwich belongs to Tampa. “Yeah, I’m gonna fight this, debate it until the end,” Valdez said as he beamed with pride. He went on to laugh and say, “Miami’s got the formula, but they don’t have the flavor.”

Bakers like Valdez have been working at La Segunda for generations. Each one plays a special role in baking the bread from scratch.

“Our dough grows very slowly. It’s all handmade from start to finish. It’s really the bakers that have been here on average for 20 to 25 years that have to communicate with each other to get the bread from start to finish,” said owner Copeland More, part of the four generations of family keeping history alive in Tampa Bay.

More’s grandfather, Juan More, had a vision in the late 19th Century to head from Spain to Cuba to learn to make Cuban bread using the traditional recipe. To this day, La Segunda handcrafts this bread which is now enjoyed across the United States. “It’s a family business for us. We have employees that have been here longer than I have been alive,” More said.

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