Dietribes: The Sandwich


Since we've covered the origins of various sandwiches in other Dietribes, this week we're looking at some straight up sandwich facts and figures, some of which may astound and amaze! Or just ... induce hunger.

"¢ In 2008, in a bid to promote healthy eating, Iranians attempted to make the world's largest ostrich sandwich. It took two days to prepare the massive meat sub, which ran along a measuring tape the length of the table. Unfortunately, some people rushed forward to eat it before it could be properly measured for the Guinness Book of World Records.

"¢ "First came the atom bomb, then stealth bomber and then the airborne laser. Now comes the US military's latest fearsome weapon: the indestructible sandwich."

"¢ You might not think the sandwich to have much longevity, but consider the story of the former Boy Scout who saved a half eaten sandwich from Richard Nixon for over 48 years.

"¢ Sandwiches are good, but are they fainting good?

"¢ What's the "greatest thing since sliced bread?" How much do we know about the Inventor of the Bread Slicing machine anyway? As it happens: after many years of labor, Iowa native Otto Frederick Rohwedder (born July 6, 1880, in Des Moines) filed for a patent on his new slicing-and-wrapping device, and sold his first machine to the Chillicothe Baking Company, in Chillicothe, Mo., in 1928. On July 7 of that year, the company sold its first loaf of sliced bread. Customers, of course, loved the product (and have ever since!)

"¢ Not sure what treats to make for Sunday's Super Bowl? How about a sandwich in the shape of a football?

"¢ So to answer the question of the greatest thing since sliced bread: Perhaps the sliced meat face? My favorite comment underneath it is "what's it made of? 80% meat ... 20% face." Although it should be careful - New York State Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, in a New York (NY) Daily News interview on January 31, 1985, stated that a grand jury could indict just about anyone or anything, including "indict a ham sandwich."

"¢ Think you know sandwiches back to front? Try this vintage Mental Floss quiz.

"¢ The number of sandwiches a person can dream up are fairly endless. According to the National Restaurant Association, "the make-up of a sandwich consisting of just five items or toppings (such as bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato) can be ordered in 120 ways. A sandwich comprised of 10 items or toppings could provide 3,628,800 combinations. Furthermore, an individual presented with 15 items for a sub or sandwich has 1.3 trillion combinations--making it physically impossible to label for all of these combinations."

Still, what are some of your favorite and most inventive sandwiches, Flossers?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.