The Backstory Behind the Best Subway Tuna Fish Footlong Recipe of All Time

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Issue 11, Volume 113

By Fiona 'Eve' Lin, Munem Tajwar 

St. Patrick’s Day is today—and that only means one thing! For the past 200 years, my family has passed down a sacred recipe to use on every St. Patrick’s Day. Though this recipe is for a sandwich, I can assure you that it is the BEST sandwich you will ever taste. Before I get to the recipe, however, I want to share with you the story that my mother and her mother and her mother before her all told their children, as the true importance of the recipe is revealed only through this tale.

The story begins with my ancestry. Our family is descended from Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon I is seen in history today as a dictator, but behind his controversial legacy lies a hopelessly romantic man. When he was a mere soldier in the French army, he had always admired the Russian Empire, particularly its ruler. Napoleon I and the Czar of Russia, Alexander I, ascended to power at around the same time. They had never interacted much before the War of the Third Coalition, when Napoleon I established the French Empire. Napoleon I met Alexander I for the first time in 1807 to discuss the Treaties of Tilsit.

When Napoleon saw Alexander, it was love at first sight. Napoleon rushed into Alexander’s arms, and they kissed passionately (there is something about a man in a bicorne hat that is absolutely irresistible). It was the start of a whirlwind romance of longing glances and secret rendezvous at the conferences that the major European powers held to discuss Napoleon’s overt intentions of conquering the entirety of Europe.

But their love soured less than five years later in 1812, when Alexander betrayed Napoleon. Napoleon wanted to visit Alexander discreetly, so he invaded the Russian Empire. But when he burst into Moscow to see his beloved, he was met with a deserted city. Arriving at their confidential meeting spot, he found a piece of Russian black bread with a note attached to it.

Confused, Napoleon read the note. It said, “We are over. Oui oui baguette.” Napoleon could not believe it. Alexander broke up with him via the scorched earth technique, a severe courting taboo back in the 1800s. He desperately wanted to track down Alexander and demand an explanation, but he was too hungry. So instead, the sobbing Napoleon ate the bread and returned heartbroken to France, where he engaged in weeks of heavy drinking.

After their unfortunate breakup, Napoleon was devastated. He concluded that Alexander had found a new Frenchman to get tongue-tied with. He was drowning in sorrow, desperately yearning to gaze into Alexander’s starry eyes again. But he came to his senses and realized that he should not devote his time to someone who would never love him wholeheartedly in return. No matter what he gave for his love, he would never be able to convince Alexander that he was equal to his new petit ami. During this time, Napoleon further embraced his French roots and rediscovered his love for baguettes, the same thing his former lover mentioned in his final note. Then, on April 11, 1814, Napoleon took off. The Coalition Forces could not track his whereabouts, so they crafted the elaborate myth that Napoleon was “exiled” to the island of Elba. But no—Napoleon went on a journey to find love once more, a love that could fill the unseasoned baguette buns he could not bring himself to let go of ever since the breakup. And on that journey, he found Iceland.

In Iceland, he met people of Norse descent who embraced their Viking heritage. There, he found love once more. As a matter of fact, he found love more than once. He found a world where people were willing to fill his baguette buns with something they saw as equally appealing: fish. Through this newfound connection, Napoleon and the Vikings were able to create sandwiches that were the stuff of legends. He was now surrounded by people who would not question his loyalty. And with this newfound confidence, Napoleon returned from his “exile” and became the Emperor of France once more, just to spite Alexander. Before Napoleon was eventually overwhelmed by the combined forces clashing against him, he reunited with his former lover, Alexander. He mocked him in a spiteful symphony (with the help of a kidnapped Ludwig Van Beethoven) and preached about the beauty of Iceland, from the immigrant leprechauns galloping around in joy to the magnificent lovers he wooed. He boasted that the connection between his baguette buns and the Vikings’ fish would forever trump the connection between his and Alexander’s lips. Before leaving and wrapping up his battle against the world, he told Alexander, “Je suis meilleur que toi et tu le sais.” (I am better than you and you know it.)

From then on, the hatred between the ex-lovers’ bloodlines has continued for centuries, all the way to today. Napoleon’s and Alexander’s descendants have the DNA of sandwich-making within them, inclining both to create their own food chains: Subway and Jersey Mike’s Subs. Napoleon’s descendants created Subway’s now infamous Tuna Fish Footlong. And with that, we come back to the present, glorious era when we are brought these sandwiches by Uber drivers. But the people who are a part of the Alexander family cannot fathom the idea of eating a Subway tuna sandwich out of loyalty to their ancestors. Therefore, I feel obligated to bring peace between our families. So to start this peace offering, I am sharing a homemade version of a Subway Tuna Fish Footlong.



  • Two slices of Wonder Bread
  • One tuna corpse


  1. Get your ingredients.
  2. Stack the sandwich with one piece of bread on top and one below the fish.

I hope all of you reading enjoy this recipe, especially if you are a descendant of Alexander. <3

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