Last Tuesday was National Cuban Sandwich Day. Celebrations were planned from Florida to South Korea, and it even had its own hashtag. But it's OK if you didn't know about it; it was made up on a whim by a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. "Anyone with an Internet connection, $12, and three hours to spare could have done the same exact thing," Christopher Spata writes in the Times. Spata says he's "fascinated by the machine behind" all those national food days—online calendars list between 1,200 and 1,500—you see trending on social media and featured on local news. So he decided to create his own.
Spata sent a fake press release for National Cuban Sandwich Day to more than 1,200 food writers and 100 restaurants, made a Facebook page, and submitted it to calendar sites used by journalists. Lo and behold, National Cuban Sandwich Day got traction. And Spata got nervous. He confessed what he'd done to his editors and anyone who'd shown an interest in the fake holiday. But people weren't upset. A couple restaurants even planned to press on with their National Cuban Sandwich Day celebrations. As one food journalist who was excited to see the Cuban sandwich get its due tells Spata: "All you need in order to create anything is enough people who don't think it's ridiculous." Read the full story here. (Read more food stories.)