Many Americans know and love Cuban bread. Yet on the West Coast of Florida, there is a markedly different version of this popular bread known as Ybor City Bread, named after the neighborhood of Tampa Bay, Florida, and popularized by its distinctive palm leaf stripe. dwarf on top. The Saw Palmetto is Florida’s official tree.
Located just northeast of downtown, Ybor City is the only neighborhood on the West Coast of Florida to be designated a National Historic District. Founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor, the neighborhood has enjoyed a rich and diverse culture for over a century.
Since 1915, La Segunda Bakery, headquartered in Ybor City, has been making fresh Cuban bread, pastries and more.
After years of perfecting and tireless hours of toil, high quality products are prepared using the same handcraft traditions established in the early 1900s. One of the most important ancestral customs is the placing of a fresh saw palmetto leaf. cut on the top of each bun to create the signature split in the middle. Only authentic Cuban bread contains the saw palmetto leaf.
La Segunda is one of the few bakeries to carry on this labor-intensive tradition.
“We can’t produce enough bread for the market right now,” says Tony Moré, third generation owner of the family business. “There is a huge demand. We ship all over the United States.
This craft has stood the test of time and demanding pallets – from placing each loaf individually on the hearth, to maintaining the strict structure of our baking teams. This special combination of skilled and skilled employees, high quality ingredients and a passionate heritage is the reason we continue to create the most authentic Cuban bread in America.
The ingredients are carefully blended by our seasoned master bakers, some of whom have been part of the La Segunda family for over 20 years.
The dough is shaped into loaves, and workers place a fresh saw palmetto leaf on top to retain moisture.
The buns are moved in front of powerful fans to harden the exterior, producing a crispy exterior and a chewy interior.
Each loaf is placed individually by hand in the hearth and left to bake for 45 minutes.
For Moreno Bakery, which is based in Brandon, Florida, this distinctive bread comes in individual 24-inch Cuban bread loaves, sold for $ 3 per loaf.
Here they go through a traditional five-hour Cuban bread-making process, with two stages of rest and ascent. Painstaking work doesn’t include the time it takes to harvest and wash saw palmetto leaves – by hand – which are individually placed and baked in the top middle of each loaf, creating a distinctive center.
Also popular are 8-inch hoagie buns and the 8-inch Medianoche, a tasty sandwich-made bread from Cuba, where they were traditionally served in Havana nightclubs around midnight.
“We sell hundreds of sandwiches every day. We have a whole production team that does just that, ”explains Susan Moreno, owner of Moreno Bakery with her husband Jose. “We sold 948 sandwiches last Saturday. We are our own customer when it comes to baking bread.