When I was a child, I’d spend most weekends at my grandparents’ house. More often than not, I’d find Cuban ice cream sandwiches in the freezer, and eating one would be heavenly. What is a Cuban ice cream sandwich, you ask? It’s vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream between two slices of panetela (pound cake). It was having cake and ice cream together, in one perfect little morsel. They came in clear cellophane wrappers, and the product information label was neither pre-printed or a sticker on the package. It was a piece of paper practically baked onto one of the sides of cake, and you had to peel it off before biting into the yummy goodness.
I’ve been looking for these delicious sandwiches for as long as I can remember. I knew I wouldn’t find them in Publix or Winn Dixie, so whenever I’d wander into a Cuban market I’d look for them. Trouble was, I didn’t know the brand name, and most people I asked looked at me like I was nuts. Unless you were in Miami in the mid-80’s and had heard, seen and tasted what I was talking about, you had no clue this thing even existed.
Fastforward 20-plus years later, and I’m grocery shopping with Brandon last night at Sedano’s. I go into the refrigerated section to get some orange juice, and my eye happens to catch a glimpse of this wrapper inside the freezer door just ahead of me. I immediately opened the freezer door and grabbed three sandwiches. Brandon asked why I was so happy, and I explained to him I’d eat those when I was his age and I had been looking for them for a long, long time.
I could hardly wait until dinner was over to have one for dessert. It was almost as good as I remember. The ones I’d have as a child had thicker slices of cake, but the taste is same. Mmm-hmm!