For starters, why has the world become so hooked on sandwiches all of a sudden? Well, a bit of recent sandwich history reminds us of just why. In 1999, a young man named Jared Fogle, an Indiana University student at that time, lost an astonishing 245 pounds, with a diet focused on eating Subway Restaurant sandwiches and exercise. His remarkable weight-loss story impacted people around the world, and got everyone hooked on sandwiches like the resurgence of coffee.
This began a movement, and businesses everywhere, introduced some sort of cold cut alternative to their ever so popular menus; Dunkin Donuts and Dominoes now offer sandwiches as well. The ever so famous Blimpies is back on track (I'm a Blimpies man myself), and the idea of "healthy eating made possible via the sandwich", stuck a thorn to the side of all the burger eateries and gave birth to businesses like Quiznos, who makes a pretty freaking good toasty sandwich. Yet, the question at hand: Why a 6 inch/12inch and not a 5 inch,or a 8 1/2 inch, or 7 3/4 inch with a curve (you nasty) or any other measurement, remains unanswered.
Who came up with this precise statistic of measurement and labeled this finding, as the "SANDWICH SIZE PHENOMENON". Was there a town hall meeting about how long (stop being nasty) a sandwich should be to satisfy the appetite of all humanoids. Maybe, in one of the past business Expos, while all the up and coming entrepreneurs were off to lunch, someone suggested:
"Hey!" "How about we go to a sandwich store and tell them to cut all of our sandwiches in rectangular shapes of six inches? Or for those who are a bit hungrier, let them get a whole foot long with their favorite condiments. Sounds delicious doesn't it? Mmmmmm... (your nasty)."
Well, having nothing better to do with the spare minutes of my life...
(Sidebar: I just got a flashback of that AT&T commercial, where the dad spills milk on his left-over roll-over minutes and he's about to throw them away. "Who wants milky minutes anyway...". Check it out:
Anyway, as I was saying, having nothing better to do with the spare minutes of my life, I began an extensive research trying to discover the history and founder of the 6 inch/12 inch sandwich idea. Looking into the history of the franchise known as Subway Restaurants aka Subway, who as I recall were the first to make an emphasis on "bread" inches, I learned several cool things.
According to Wikipedia (which I must warn you, shouldn't be your go to source for any medical information, or anything that's truly serious, as it can be edited by it's subscribers), the franchise which is owned by Doctor's Associates, Inc. (DAI), not medical doctors by the way, is currently the fastest growing franchise in the world. There are over 30,016 franchised units in 88 countries, and as of this month, is third largest fast food operator globally after Yum! Brands (35,000 locations) and McDonald's (31,000 locations). Not bad huh? In further research, I learned that there are Subway's in Muslim countries that serve alternative menus with substitutes with Halal produce. That means that my man Amir, from The Kite Runner, the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini and one of my favorite books, thanks Zak, can revisit Afghanistan and pick-up a foot-long Halal Sub. Cool isn't it?
As I continued my research, I obtained other cool info, like the fact that the first form of sandwich was attributed to the ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder, who is said to have put meat from the Paschal lamb and bitter herbs inside matzo (or flat, unleavened bread) during Passover; hey that flat bread idea goes way back. Furthermore, I discovered that the first English usage of the word "sandwich" goes back to the 18th century. According to Wikipedia, the sandwich was named after an English aristocrat named John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.
Mr. Montagu aka Lord Sandwich, who quite strangely resembles our contries 1st president (please see pic above), and even more strangely existed in same time period of G.W., was fond of this type of food that consisted of "bits of cold meat" in bread. He favored this food because it allowed him to continue playing cards while eating, without getting his cards greasy. Far out right?
Nevertheless, I was not able to obtain any information on the emphasis on SIZE and how it mattered (you nasty). I was eventually forced to arrive to a theory of my own.
My theory: I believe the guy who came up with this was probably watching an X-rated... No sorry, I don't think that, please disregard the previous statement. I think that, some jobless dude with a whole bunch of "roll-over" minutes to spare, a kitchen counter overflowing with loafs of bread of all sizes, and a fridge full of healthy vegetables, and condiments, sat down and began a personal investigation of this "cold-cut" case. His mission? To uncover the myth behind the statement: Does size really matter? He locked himself up, in a dungeon, or a basement, as the time period of this discovery is unclear, and conducted several tests until he would satisfy his hunger. Maybe he began at 1, then 2, until reaching six inches and feeling a complete sense of pleasure and satisfaction. Then, all of a sudden, he received an unexpected visit from his larger than normal cousin, who found two six inch subs and scarfed them down with no apparent difficulty. At that exact moment, this man was enlightened with a new discovery, and thus began his voyage across the globe to spread the "good news", the gospel, on how many inches does it really take to satisfy mankind.
Is this how it really went down? The world may never know. Just another one of those things that make you go Hmmmm....
Yes i'm random, but you freaking love it.
Be merry, call Jared and try a $5 foot-long. You'll be totally satisfied with how BIG it really is. Oh yeah! hehe (you nasty).