– Probably the world´s greatest shrimp sandwich!
1984 is not only the name of George Orwell’s classic novel on the future. It is also the year when the Gothia Towers King Size Shrimp Sandwich first saw the light of day. Pioneered in Newport, Rhode Island, the concept was brought to Gothia Towers in Gothenburg. Just as in America, it was size that counted. And in line with its proportions, we called it King Size.
The recipe was developed by Staffan Enander way back in 1977. In the 70s, he visited the US several times and liked the “big is better” thinking of American life – everything from the size of the hamburgers to New York’s skyscrapers. His idea was to bring some of that grandeur to Sweden in the form of a tasty dish that would be popular, have a connection to the west coast of Sweden, and could be offered at the right price. The shrimp cocktail had already taken Sweden by storm, and Staffan Enander now wanted to top that with a main course. The result was an open sandwich containing 200 grams of hand-peeled shrimps, mayonnaise, egg and a light salad.
The big break came in 2002, the year after Gothia Towers’ second tower was completed, when the Heaven 23 and Incontro restaurants were opened. Since then, the King Size Shrimp Sandwich has become a must for people visiting Gothenburg, as well as an everyday treat for locals. It has become so well known that articles about it frequently appear in the Swedish media, from Dagens Industri (heavyweight financial daily), to Amelia, (twice-monthly, upmarket magazine for women).
Every year, all of 35 tons of Arctic shrimps are heaped onto our dill-flavoured, ryebread open sandwiches. May 2009 saw the magic millionth King Size Shrimp Sandwich enjoyed since we introduced them. And if all the King Size Shrimp Sandwiches we have served since the start were stacked on top of each other, they would reach up 85 km into the air.
Like society at large, the King Size Shrimp Sandwich is affected by swings in the economy. During the recent recession in 2009, sales went down, but as the economy picked up again, the shrimp index also recovered. Today the sandwich comes in three different versions: King Size, King Size de Luxe and King Size To Go. And downsizing this delicious delight is very definitely not an option. In the same way as the Volvo V70 comes in only one size, the Gothia Towers shrimp sandwich comes only in one size – King Size!
FACTS – 1984 milestones:
- Apple Computer launched the Apple Macintosh.
- The Herrey Brothers, from Gothenburg, won the Eurovision Song Contest with Diggi-loo, Diggi-ley.
- The first heart transplant in Sweden was carried out at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg.
- Gothia Towers, in Gothenburg, sold its first King Size Shrimp Sandwich.