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A Box of Real Cubans

Besides the sun and sand, the tasty, toasted Cuban sandwiches are one of the greatest things about South Florida. They are nearly as common there as tacos in Texas, and the best ones can be found at small street-corner restaurants.

A classic Cuban sandwich is a layering of ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese and pickles between a sliced length of crispy Cuban bread. The key to a classic Cuban is that it�s grilled in a sandwich press so all the flavors meld together.

A New York company has successfully re-created the Cuban sandwich, in frozen and miniature form, with its Original Havana Roadhouse Famous Cuban Sandwiches. These heat-and-serve beauties are sold six to a box. They are hand-assembled and fully cooked. They heat up wonderfully in about 10 minutes in the oven.

Roger Basile, the company�s founder, said he first thought of re-creating the classic Cuban sandwiches about 10 years ago, after sampling one in Miami.

�They say that once you have your first Cuban, you always remember that taste,� says Roger.

His smaller version also plays on the appeal of Cuba�s other legendary export, the Havana cigar. Each of the mini-sandwiches is wrapped in a decorative paper band like those that grace a fine cigar.

The company�s cooks tinkered with recipes and breads for about two years before coming up with the winning formula.

�It measures up,� Rogers says. �I think we did a good job of capturing that experience.�

We do, too. You�ll find Havana Roadhouse Cuban Sandwiches in the Frozen section at Central Market.

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