It’s August. We’re hot and ready to head to the beach, picnic in hand. Sandwich anyone? Try this one on for size: a 62-metre-long megaloaf was part of a five-day Mexico City festival in Mexico City last week, staged to promote the traditional Mexican torta. Mexicans often eat on the run, grabbing a taco, torta or quesadilla at crowded city stand or highway stall. But the increasing popularity of American fast food favourites like McDonalds and Subway have hurt sales of national cuisine in Mexico even as Mexican fare has made inroads in the US. US tortilla consumption is up, while in Mexico tortilla sales have shrunk. “The torta is not in danger of extinction, but its sales have declined by 50% over the last decade because of the competition from pizza and hamburgers,” Francisco Juarez, head of the Mexican National Restaurant Chamber’s Mexico City chapter, told the Los Angeles Times. The first national Torta Festival was set up to celebrate Mexico’s overstuffed mix of crusty bread, beans and cheese and recapture local enthusiasm for the tidbit. By showcasing the torta – in part by building the 62-metre version – event organizers also hoped to encourage its makers to create a modern version of the loaf, first introduced to Mexico by the French in the 1860s.
Dozens of local businesses helped produced the oversized sandwich, which broke the record in Latin America. It even looked set to top the world record, but fell short of the current world record holder in the US: a sandwich that weighed 6,000 lbs. Check out the making of the megatorta.
Hasta la próxima!