The world’s largest fast-food chain is still full of surprises
No matter where you go, it always seems like a Subway isn’t far away, beckoning you with its unique and semi-bizarre smell, its seasonal offerings, and its guarantee that whatever you order will taste exactly the same as it did the last time you ordered it, whether it was in Mexico City; Braga, Portugal; or Peoria, Ill. And while we might think that we’ve learned all there is to know about the world’s most ubiquitous fast-food chain, there are many things you’d be surprised to learn about the company.
14 Things You Didn’t Know About Subway Gallery
While today it’s the world’s largest restaurant operator, Subway began as a single, humble sandwich shop, opened in 1965 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Called Pete’s Super Submarines, it was renamed Subway in 1968, and as the founders built out their franchise plan they created a parent company, called Doctor’s Associates, Inc. (this odd moniker apparently came about because one founder had a doctorate in physics and the other was hoping to go to medical school). Doctor's Associates is still the name of Subway's parent company.
The chain expanded rapidly, and continues to expand. Its recently-returned $5 Footlongs, willingness to ride the zeitgeist with (somewhat) trendy items like wraps, consistency, and ubiquity help keep it top-of-mind, and the fact that it sells legitimately healthy sandwiches makes it, in many people’s minds, a healthier alternative to burger-based chains. Still, sales are down and the chain's reputation took a major hit when it was discovered that its Footlongs weren't actually a foot long (and when pitchman Jared Fogle was busted for being a sex offender), and the chain has introduced new offerings like antibiotic-free chicken and real carved turkey to combat the decline.
But for all we think we might know about Subway, there are a lot of interesting bits of info out there that you might not have realized. Read on for 14 fascinating facts about Subway.
14 Things You Didn't Know About Alton Brown
Host Alton Brown, as seen on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, Season 1.
Photo by: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Jeremiah Alley, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Most fans believe Alton Brown's a walking food dictionary (and he is). He's the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he's a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there's still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.
1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. "Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time."
2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.
3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. "I always travel with a guitar when I'm on the road." He also sings with his trio on his live tour.
4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. "I'm anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she's listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-'70s Elton John," Alton shared with FN Dish.
5. Alton is terrified of calf's liver. "I've tried it and I can't make it edible. I don't like anyone else's either — and mine is just worse," Alton adds.
6. "While I like eating artichokes, I hate cooking them. It's so much work. Who decided we should even eat that?"
8. Alton has a lot of glasses. "When you have to wear them every day, you tend to switch them up."
9. Alton's bow tie collection: "I have 200 bow ties at home. I inherited most of them. When an art school professor retired, he sent me his collection, which was 145 bow ties that he collected over a 30-year period."
10. What's the most-memorable item Alton's received from a fan? "Just last year someone gave me a homemade ceramic dog treat jar made to look like my corgi, Sparky. And darn if it doesn't look just like him."
If you&aposre looking for catering for your next event, consider surprising your guests with a feast from the Waffle House and yes, they even do weddings. Instead of putting in a massive take-out order or taking over one of their restaurants, the Waffle House will drive their own food truck to your event and dole out hot hash browns and waffles to your guests.
The restaurant&aposs original location in Decatur, Ga., has been transformed into a museum for anyone looking for a quirky way to spend an afternoon. The museum looks like a 1955 diner and is filled with over 60 years of Waffle House memorabilia. To top off the fun, the tour includes an edible souvenir as visitors get a chance to make their own waffle.
7 Things You Didn't Know Your Dishwasher Could Do
Sure, it cleans that stuck-on cheese, but your dishwasher is a bit of a magician.
I was watching an episode of House Hunters recently when I had a bit of an out-of-body experience. A couple was looking at older homes in what I always assume is some quaint New England suburb.
As the two toured their second home, they realized the kitchen didn’t come with a dishwasher, and—the moment when I almost came out of my skin—it wasn’t a deal breaker. The tour didn’t stop right there. They kept going!
I stared in amazement that the couple would even consider an abode that was sans sanitizing dish machine. What year is it? Why would anyone torture themselves in such a way?
Alas, the house hunters chose another home, though I doubt the lack of dishwasher was the determining factor. Still, this episode brought home to me something I had perhaps not realized quite so much until that point: I am spoiled by my dishwasher. I quite simply don’t know what I𠆝 do without it.
In fact, I’ve found more things I can wash in it besides my cereal bowls, cups, and spoons. I mean, if you’re got caged magic in the form of a machine that will wash just about anything, don’t let that go to waste.
Here, several household items you can wash in your dishwasher that you may not have considered before.
Sanitize Kid and Pet Toys
The two creatures may walk differently and eat different things, but their toys can be hotbeds for germs and dirt. Plastic toys can be washed easily in a normal dishwasher cycle. For small toys (think: building blocks), consider putting the toys in a mesh bag first. And don’t try to wash pet toys that have rope, hide, or fabric. They likely won’t sustain the wash well.
This trick is especially helpful when your little one has been sick. The cold, flu, and stomach virus can linger on play toys for many days and weeks after your child is better, so don’t risk a rebound illness. Pop those toys right into the machine for rinsing and sterilizing.
Steam Vegetables and Fish
I’m not saying this is an optimal way to cook dinner, but if you find yourself without an oven (or just feel up to a fun challenge), you can actually make dinner in your dishwasher. Tightly wrap quick-cooking vegetables like asparagus, squash, and carrots in aluminum foil with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. Wash in a hot cycle without soap. The heat and steam will tenderize the food.
You can do the same for packets of fish like salmon or halibut, en papillote style. Thinner cuts will cook more evenly than thick pieces like cod or grouper. The hot temperature and water helps to steam the fish inside the packets.
Rinse Your Garden Haul
After a trip to your garden or local farmers market, you may come back with a bounty of fruit and vegetables that need to be washed before cooking or storing. You can stand over the sink and wash each piece by hand, or you can load up the trays of your dishwasher for a quick cold-water cycle.
Place delicate things like tomatoes or berries on the top shelf or away from spinning arms. Hardy foods like root vegetables and potatoes can sustain the pressure of the bottom shelf.
You don’t need to use any soap, though feel free to use food-safe produce washes. Even a touch of vinegar in the detergent cap is OK for the rinse.
Keep Food Warm
When you need to keep cooked food warm but find yourself short on oven space (or without those warming drawers I’ve heard so much about), consider putting food in your dishwasher to keep it warm. Your dishwasher is essentially a large hot box, if you think about its construction. It’s meant to keep the heat of hot water and drying mechanisms contained inside the machine, so you can use that thermal capacity to your benefit.
If you need extra heat, you can run a drying cycle (no water) to heat up the food and dishwasher. Just be sure a rinse cycle won’t run before the drying cycle begins. No one likes a water-logged casserole.
Make Household Items Like New
Sticky vent fans, dusty flowers, dingy light fixture bulbs𠅊ll of these items can be easily washed in your dishwasher. The thick layer of dust that often settles on these out-of-sight-out-of-mind items needs to be rinsed away, but hand washing can be time consuming. Use your dishwasher’s cleaning powers for good.
Be careful to not put thin glass items, heirlooms, or antiques in the dishwasher. Those should still be washed by hand.
Anything else should make it through a typical dishwasher cycle with no problem. If you have a lot of glass, consider using the gentle cycle so the shaking and rattling doesn’t cause any of the fixtures to bump into one another and crack.
Sanitize Kitchen Sponges
The thing you use to clean your kitchen needs to be cleaned, too. Instead of microwaving your sponge (which you can do for 60 seconds on high), just place the sponge in your next load that will end in a sanitizing cycle. The hot water and temps will kill lingering bacteria and make the sponge safe to use again.
If the sponge is small or the openings in your dishwasher trays are large, consider putting it in the silverware basket for safe keeping.
Make Dirty Shoes Shine
Rubber shoes like flip-flops, rain boots, and water shoes can be easily washed in your dishwasher. Canvas-topped sneakers with rubber soles can be safely washed in there, too. For added odor-busting measure, sprinkle the inside with a bit of baking soda the night before you plan to wash. Turn the shoe upside down over the garbage before you wash to remove any remaining residue.
To prevent water pooling, place these shoes horizontal to the dishwasher’s spraying arms. Be sure to remove any liners or orthopedic inserts. Don’t run the drying cycle. Put the shoes in a warm place to dry. It may take several days, but they’ll be like new again—or at least almost.
17 Things You Didn't Know About The Cheesecake Factory
If, like us, you think cheesecake should probably be its own food group, then there are a few things you absolutely need to know about the national restaurant chain dedicated to the dessert. The Cheesecake Factory might be your favorite destination for date night or even just a few slices of towering chocolate-chip cookie cheesecake to-go, but we bet you didn't know nearly half of the stuff about the company that you definitely should. Read on for all the details on your favorite dessert spot.
1. You Don't Have to Wait for the Check Anymore.
If you or someone you know has a habit of flagging down your server, desperately trying to catch his/her eye from across the room while miming an autograph, you can finally give your attempts at ESP a rest: Cheesecake Factory recently launched CakePay, an app that lets you split the bill and pay (including tip) directly from your smartphone.
2. Drake Name-Checks the Brand in a Song.
In "Celebrities, they're just like us!" news, the rapper famous for turning Dad-dancing in a turtleneck into a hit music video (ahem, "Hotline Bling"), confesses to being every bit as obsessed with the CF as you are: "Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake / You know I love to go there," he sings in "Childs Play." It prompted the brand to tweet a photo of a helicopter delivering the dessert to the singer:
3. The Chain's Getting in on the Superfood Trend.
With a menu that's longer than most children's books, it's a wonder that the company can even dream up more items to add, and yet, it continually does. The latest: a Super Foods menu, which features antioxidant-rich recipes, like almond-crusted salmon salad, kale and quinoa salad, and yes, even an on-the-nose super antioxidant salad, which features spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli grapes and more.
4. It all began from a1940s newspaper clipping.
Evelyn Overton used a recipe she found in the paper to craft her own "Original" cheesecake that everyone knows (and is totally obsessed with) today. After that, she opened up a small shop in her basement Detroit, MI.
5. The first official outpost opened in 1972.
The Los Angeles location was called The Cheesecake Factory Bakery and it wasn't until 1978 that Overton's son, David, debuted the first iteration of The Cheesecake Factory in Beverly Hills with a dessert-forward menu.
6. There are nearly 200 locations today.
The chain has expanded to 39 states and five countries, but continues to open more locations regularly, including highly anticipated locales in New York City, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
7. It's one of the best companies to work for.
According to Fortune, the Cheesecake Factory ranked as #92 on the magazine's 2014 list and was the only L.A.-based company to make the cut. Before that, the magazine slated it as the number 6 most-admired company in the food industry in 2013.
8. You can send someone a slice of cheesecake on Twitter.
The Cheesecake Factory offers a tweet-enabled gift-card service that lets customers purchase $10 gift cards, write a personal message, and then the brand will pass it along to your friend via Twitter.
Remember, the shortest distance between this #Cheesecake and your mouth is a straight line. pic.twitter.com/hkhenWyq4V&mdash The Cheesecake Factory 🍰 (@Cheesecake) February 20, 2016
9. There are 30 different types of cheesecake to choose from.
And the most popular ones are White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and Dulce De Leche Caramel.
10. Your cheesecake comes from one of two bakeries.
With more than 700 crew members combined the Calabasas, CA and Rocky Mont, NC facilities churn out sweets for the entire company to serve in its restaurants. And there's Tiramisu, too!
11. Some of the menu items are crazy-high in calories.
We love the warm apple crisp and peanut-butter cup cheesecake as much as the next person, but they each contain more calories than you should consume in an entire day.
12. The restaurant almost always has a deal going on.
Whether it's National Cheesecake Day, social media giveaways, or just a simple sale, the Cheesecake Factory just really wants to let you eat cake. (Right now, the brand is partnering with Coca-Cola to send someone to Las Vegas.)
13. Your cake always arrives with an intricate garnish.
Delicate scribbles of caramel sauce, perfectly piled dollops of whipped cream, tons of crumbled graham crackers . you get the idea.
14. You can eat your favorite dessert and your favorite candy, too.
The chain has partnered with brands like Snickers, Reese's, and even Oreo to bring you authentic riffs on your favorite sweets and snacks (much like our amazing Kit Kat brownies).
15. Brown bread makes for the most epic menu hack.
The renowned pre-dinner snack&mdashalways served warm and toasty in a bread basket&mdashcan be subbed in for the traditional bread options on the club sandwich or any sub. And it's heavenly.
16. The drinks are just as decadent as the desserts.
Café mochas and caramel-sauced macchiatos, frozen peach bellinis, strawberry creamsicles&mdashthe treat yo' self mentality never ends. And we're totally okay with that.
Café Mocha and the Caramel Royal Macchiato. Perfect for pairing with cheesecake. pic.twitter.com/vgkLFdYE63&mdash The Cheesecake Factory 🍰 (@Cheesecake) January 8, 2016
17. You can get entire cheesecakes delivered to your door.
Thanks to a partnership with Harry & David, cheesecake obsessives can take a big bite out of their favorite flavors&mdashjust by walking over to the fridge. Best. Gift. Ever.
Here's how to make your evaluation and treatment smoother
Few things are as scary as having to go to the emergency room. Perhaps, walking down the aisle (kidding!)? In truth, the E.R. is there to either save your life or to help you feel better. The important thing is that you utilize emergency services when you need to, and not allow fear of having a bad experience dissuade you from going. Interesting fact: according to the most updated CDC website, in 2016, the mean wait time to see a medical provider was 24 minutes in less busy emergency rooms and 48 minutes in the busier ones. Expectedly, people with more concerning symptoms such as chest pain are seen quicker than those with the complaint of a stubbed toe (I really did think I had broken it).
For those of you who are off to the emergency room, here are some (hopefully) helpful tips for making your evaluation and treatment smoother. Of course, depending on your symptoms and on whether you are being brought to the emergency room by an ambulance, you may not have the time or capacity to follow these tips (it's difficult to pack an overnight bag when you are unconscious).
Bring Another Set of Eyes and Ears
Whether it be a friend, family member or a work colleague. Having someone there to help advocate for you (asking the charge nurse why you haven't been seen in six hours) and to also listen to what the nurses and doctors tell you is extremely helpful. Additionally, s/he can act as a liaison and keep your other friends and family members informed of how you are doing.
This step can be done months earlier in anticipation. You should keep an updated list of your current medications along with dosages (including vitamins and herbal supplements) as well as a record of your medication allergies. A great place to store this information is under notes if you use a smartphone. Otherwise, the old-fashioned method of keeping these details on a piece of paper tucked away in your wallet will also suffice. Other particulars you should keep handy are your insurance information, your doctor's name and phone number, a brief summary of your medical history, such as previous diagnoses such as asthma or kidney problems, and a list of your prior surgeries. For those of you with a history of heart disease or who are presenting to the emergency room with chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness, having a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram (EKG), which is an image of your heart's electrical activity and can signify signs of heart disease, can be extremely helpful. In fact, you should consider keeping a copy of your most recent EKG under pictures if you use a smartphone, or in your wallet, if you are a technophobe.
Try to Be as Nice and Understanding as You Can Be
Clearly, you are likely very nervous and not yourself, as being in pain and not feeling well can bring out the worst in us. However, it is important to remember that the professionals in the emergency room are likely working their hardest and have the best of intentions, and you are likely not their only patient. Try to envision how you would respond if you had to deal with your worst self (frankly, I would probably call security and have myself thrown out).
Fast Food Chains Will Play On Your Senses
Many major restaurants take advantage of a customer’s senses with sneaky strategies like “aroma marketing,” which boosts tempting smells of food, and specialized decor, which makes the customer subconsciously think of food with similar colors or physical qualities.
If The Medium Meal Looks Large — It Probably Is!
A Duke University study noted that by raising the volume of all meal sizes, fast food companies could charge more and psychologically persuade customers to buy larger meal options. Business Insider reports that, from the 1970s to today, the average order of fries has increased from two to three ounces, while the average cheeseburger grew from 5.9 to 7.3 ounces.
International Chains Could Be Contributing Massively To Global Warming
The Environmental Investigation Agency says U.S.-based chains McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts, as well as Indian and British fast food chains are on track to add nearly 1 million tons of carbon emissions by the year 2020. The EIA is calling for an agreement that stops these emissions, saying it could prevent 100 billion tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent from entering the air by 2050.
Burgers Could Mix Meat From Multiple Cows
In the 2001 book, “Fast Food Nation,” by Eric Schlosser, the journalist wrote that the average fast-food burger could contain meat from 12 to 100 cows. In 2014, Daily Mail reported that McDonald’s said it used a mixture of beef from different cows in burgers served at some European restaurants.
The Average Burger Could Also Contain. Poop?
In a recent Consumer Reports study of conventionally raised beef — often processed and distributed nationally by very few major U.S. companies — all 458 pounds of the tested beef contained evidence of "fecal matter contamination.” The study also found that sustainably-fed beef contained less harmful bacteria than conventionally-raised beef.
Those Grill Marks Could Be An Illusion
Speculators on sites including Reddit, Snopes, and Food Republic say many “grilled” meats served at major fast-food joints are pre-cooked with additives to create the appearance of grill marks, while also mimicking a grilled flavor. This concern has also been featured on the official website of the Dr. Oz Show.
The Average Fast-Food Eater Puts Less Importance On Healthy Menus
A survey reported by Forbes said that while participants ranked fast-food chains based on healthy options, they said that those customers may not necessarily visit the healthier places. Instead, the fast-food fans surveyed favored qualities like fresh taste of food, a menu’s variety of foods, large portion sizes, and the meal’s “portability.”
If You Think Sitting Down At A Chain Restaurant Is Safer, Think Again!
A study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said that while the average person gained 58 mg of cholesterol at a sit-down dinner, those who got take-out or fast food saw an average increase of just 10 mg. Researchers collected the data from over 18,000 adults recorded by National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Although this option increases cholesterol at a slower rate, those who eat fast food regularly could still struggle similarly from weight gain and high cholesterol.
The Ice In Your Soda Might Contain Toilet-Bowl Bacterias
A 2013 study collected ice samples from 10 major fast food restaurant soda machines in Britain — including those of international chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC — and reported that six out of 10 samples had more bacteria than the water found in the chains’ toilets. This followed a middle schooler’s 2006 science project where then-12-year old Jasmine Roberts collected toilet-bowl samples, as well as soda samples from self-serve machines and drive-thru windows at five south Florida restaurants. She found that 70% of tested ice was dirtier than its restaurant’s toilet water.
14 Things You Didn’t Know About Strawberries
There’s nothing like spotting the first sweet ripe strawberries of the season at your local farmer’s market. This year, the warm weather is slow coming in some parts of the country, and that means the strawberries might be still green. But the color shouldn’t stop you from buying them: tart green strawberries are all the rage. Chefs are using immature strawberries both fresh and pickled, in everything from salads to cakes. If you prefer your berries red and juicy, you’re probably in the majority. However you like them, we’re betting your strawberry knowledge didn’t run this deep — until now:
- Strawberries are the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
- Strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries or even grapes. Technically, a berry has its seeds on the inside. And, to be über technical, each seed on a strawberry is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit. Whoa, meta!
- Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
- The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
- Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. It’s closer to five pounds if you count frozen ones. In a study, more than half of nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit. They’re nature’s candy!
- Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
- Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. As spring’s first fruit, they were a treat, eaten freshly picked or baked into cornbread.
- The ancient Romans thought strawberries had medicinal powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throats.
- Sex & Strawberries? In France, where they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, strawberries are served to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
- Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
- Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
- California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S. They grow about 2 billion pounds of the heart-shaped fruits per year. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada grows their own.
- To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
- Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!
Check out these strawberry stories on Food Republic:
The founders of Firehouse Subs are not just involved in the sandwich chain industry. They also own their own ranch in Cascade, Montana. The ranch is massive and the 9,000-acre expanse is complete with cattle and horses. They call it Bell Cross Ranch and it really is a working ranch.
When the Sorensen family is not busy with their sandwich chain or developing a new sandwich, they’re hosting guests as well as the media on their ranch where they offer hiking, horseback riding, mounted shooting, campfire grilling and much more. They really know how to live life well and they enjoy sharing their good bounty with others.
About The Author
Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic, because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.