The Smithsonian Considers History of The Big Gulp and "Thanks" Texas. You're So Welcome!
So, I think they're being facetious, but not totally sure. Tone is so hard to detect in the written word sometimes. Regardless, Food & Think on Smithsonian.com offers a lesson about our nation's growing thirst for sodas through the history of Big Gulps. The title of the article is "We Have Texas the Thank for the Biggest Big Gulp."
Actually, that's only because 7-Eleven is based here. As the article states, the original Big Gulp was born in Southern California. But who's pointing fingers here? We're certainly not because we're all holding Super Big Gulps, which require both hands. (When we need to type, we mainline.)
The article provides a pretty interesting timeline of the progress of large drinks:
"Sometime in the spring of 1976, Coca-Cola representatives approached Potts about a new 32-ounce cup design -- a pretty significant increase in liquid as the store carried only 12- and 20-ounce cups for their fountain drinks at the time."
Dennis Potts, who was the merchandise manager for 300 7-Elevens in California at the time sent 500 Big Gulp cups, on a whim, to a local store. They sold out in one weekend, which was unprecedented at the time. And so the first domino fell.
Now we're all fat. Thanks, Potts.
Not really! Just teasing, Potts! There are lots of other things that paved the way to our ba-donk-a-donk butts, big drinks just being the tip of the iceberg. (Speaking of icebergs, why hasn't someone made a Coca-Cola iceberg yet?)
So, why does the Smithsonian point to Texas? Well, of course because 7-Eleven holds base camp in Dallas, but we certainly aren't the only ones who partake in mammoth drinks. The wonderful folks at the Smithsonian are probably just mad because 7-Eleven is slowly taking over the planet:
"With more than 18,200 stores in 18 countries, 7-Eleven sells an average of 33 million gallons of fountain drinks a year -- enough to fill 75 Olympic-size swimming pools."
Imagine a swimming pool full of soda. If 7-Eleven could figure out how to get cups that big out the door, do you think they'd sell Olympic Gulps? Yeah, probably.
In all honesty though, Texas has offered many things to our large culinary landscape, not just big drinks. Consider nachos, corn dogs, queso (just guessing there), Snuffer's cheddar fries!!! and we will fry anything. Don't even dare us. We even fry Dr Pepper.
So, if you're going to get all pointy and puffy about it, Smithsonian, let's not limit ourselves to just big drinks. Let's all say it together on three: Everything is bigger in Texas. It's just how we roll. Literally, we roll.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.