The World Record That Was Eaten By a Hungry Mob

Too delicious to resist

Mellat Park, Tehran (Flikr / Wiki Commons)

In 2008, spectators in Tehran, Iran gathered to witness the completion of a world record. In front of them lay, what was supposed to be, the world’s largest sandwich. It had been meticulously laid out in a local park in the predawn hours and was awaiting some final details before the measurements could be taken. As the sandwich grew in size, so did the interest from local people. In a city of nearly nine million people, the construction of a gigantic sandwich was going to draw hungry eyes.

The (alleged) measurements

So how big was the world record sandwich? The length of the sandwich was, allegedly, 1,500 meters. That is a whopping 1.5 kilometers of delicious food. The inside of the sandwich was, allegedly, to be stuffed with over a thousand pounds of chicken meat and a thousand pounds of ostrich meat. Now that is a sandwich.

I say allegedly, not because I do not trust the intrepid cooks of Iran who put this monster together. There were over a thousand people working on this thing before the unthinkable happened. I say allegedly because this sandwich was never officially recorded by Guinness.

People ate it first.

A world record eaten… in minutes

As the sandwich was preparing to be measured by the officials from the Guinness Book of World Records a mob formed and the sandwich was stormed. Remember, this sandwich was laid out in public along a stretch of park nearly a mile long. There was no way to protect the sandwich’s vulnerable flanks and the mob’s maneuvers were just too great for the defenders who were out manned.

Soon, the lines were strained, they threatened to be broken. Chefs ran amok. Morale plummeted as defenders of the great sandwich screamed to hold the line.

But the line would not hold.

Nearly every piece covering this event, from people on the ground, described the scene simply as chaos.

The organizers stood and watched, mouths agape, as their lovingly crafted behemoth sandwich was eaten by a hungry mob in mere minutes. The organizers included the Guinness officials who had not conducted their investigation yet. It included magnates from the ostrich farming industry who probably could not help but feel some kind of glee that their farmed ostrich meat was so delicious it drove people to commit record-icide.

Once it became clear that the mass of people had one goal in mind — to eat the sandwich — there was nothing that could be done.

Aftermath

Once the dust settled, the sandwich was gone. The entire thing had been eaten remarkably quickly. Because this was going to be a large media event there had been ample coverage of the sandwich before the destruction but no official evidence was gathered. The sandwich was not entered into the world record books.

No one really knows what caused the mob to eat the sandwich before it was finished. Perhaps, there had been miscommunication among the ranks of the spectators and organizers. Perhaps, one person simply reached out and took a sweet illicit bite causing a frenzy to ensue. Perhaps, the crowd was simply hungry and the sight of delicious ostrich meat sent them into a feeding frenzy. No one can say for sure. All we can say, is that a bid for the world’s largest sandwich turned into a story that will stand the test of time for much longer.

What’s more impressive, building the world’s largest sandwich or building a sandwich so delicious that a mile of it is eaten in minutes?

Professional freelance writer with an eye for history and storytelling. Ardent believer that history is stranger than fiction.

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