LONDON - APRIL 10: A sandwich which costs GBP 85.50 ( (USD 148.30) sits on display at the department store Selfridges on April 10, 2006 in London, England. Selfridges have put on sale what they claim is London's most expensive sandwich. The cost is down to the Wagyu beef that makes up most of the filling. The other ingredients include fresh lobe foie gras, black truffle mayonnaise, brie de meaux, rocket, red pepper and mustard confit, and English plum tomatoes. Photo Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Some of the world’s most beloved foods are layers of goodness built on top of one another. Topping one ingredient with another to create a meal of epic delicious proportion brought the world the sandwich and the cake. So what accomplishments have these stacked foods achieved? Quite a few actually.
Its history dates all the way back to the 18th century with the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, who took snacks of meat stacked between layers of bread with him to the gambling tables. Today, sandwiches are go-to meals for children in school, busy professionals and just about anyone else who enjoys their favorite fillings between bread slices.
So how does the sandwich stack up in the world of food records and accomplishments? Well, in March 2005, the largest sandwich was constructed in Roseville, Michigan at the Wild Woody’s Chill and Grill. The behemoth weighed 5,440 pounds and consisted of 150 pounds of mustard, 1,032 pounds of corned beef, 260 pounds of cheese and 530 pounds of lettuce, served on 3,568 pounds of bread. The sandwich was 17.5 inches thick, 12 feet long and 12 feet wide.
If that doesn’t have your mouth salivating, maybe the world’s most expensive sandwich will get your tastebuds tingling. Layered with three slices of 24-hour fermented sourdough bread, the $200 sandwich contains Iberico ham, poulet de Bresse (chicken), white truffles, quail eggs and semi-dried Italian tomatoes. The von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich is available at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire, England.
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut could probably put away a small fortune of those sandwiches; he’s achieved incredible feats in the world of sandwich eating. In just 10 minutes, Chestnut ate 20 eight-ounce corned beef sandwiches at the TooJay’s World Class Corned Beef Eating Championship in March 2012. He also holds the record for grilled cheese consumption, consuming 47 of them in 10 minutes in 2006. In 2013, he blew spectators’ minds at Katz’s Delicatessen when he consumed 25 seven-ounce pastrami sandwiches in 10 minutes. Twenty-three six-inch Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches met their demise in May 2011, when Chestnut devoured all of them in 10 minutes. The man also ate 45 pulled pork sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2007.
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Nothing stacks up like a delicious cake. The traditional birthday treat made up of sweet, fluffy layers has built quite a buzz in recent history with a variety of cake competitions taking place around the world. So what reputation has cake built for itself? Let’s check out some of the records.
The world’s tallest cake, made by the Hakasima-Nilasari Culinary School in Senayan City, Jakarta, Indonesia in November 2008, measured an extraordinary 108.27 feet tall and weighed 20 tons. For the 4th of July in 2006, the cake with the most layers on record was displayed at the Springdale Country Club in Springdale, Arkansas. The cake consisted of 230 layers. The largest wedding cake ever made, displayed at the New England Bridal Showcase in February 2008, weighed in at 15,032 pounds. Try not to let your mouth water if you’re in wedding-planning mode.
Competitive eaters, however, may see a cake that size – or really any cake – as a challenge. Matt Stonie ate 5.5 pounds of cake in just under nine minutes in May 2013 on his 21st birthday. Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas, another competitive eater, set a record in 2004 for eating 11 pounds of cheesecake in nine minutes. Patrick Bertoletti took down 72 cupcakes in just six minutes at the Isle Waterloo World Cupcake Eating Championship in 2012. He also took down 15.25 pounds of strawberry shortcake in six minutes at the Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival in 2007.