Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Cut of the Sandwich


snowangel
 Share

Recommended Posts

As I prepped some awesome sandwiches tonight (toast, mayo, grilled chicken, chipotle bacon, lettuce and cherokee purples), I asked if the folks in my family wanted them cut.

There was not a single "yes, just cut it." Rather "Diagonal" (son), "straight up" (hubby) and "straight across" (daughter).

When I asked about it, hubby said his "straight up" was because that was the way he always had it. Diana wanted hers that way because it's opposite of the norm.

Peter want's his diagonal because he can eat the top crusty part first and then the bottom crusty part with the second half, and that way, I can't steal the top crusty part before he gets to it ( :raz: ).

I am a diagonal person, but vary whether I eat the top or bottom portion first.

Any preferences at your place? Or, do you prefer them not cut?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's interesting how preference for sandwich cuts reflects personality, habit, taste, etc.

I prefer not to cut my sandwiches, for fear that ingredients will become smaller and therefore more prone to escape. Well, if it's really big I'd cut it, but I don't make my sandwiches really big.

What's more important to me is that, when fully assembled, the pieces of bread-type-material is aligned so that it is exactly as it was before anything was put inside.

In other words, the sides that were touching each other originally are still facing each other each other, and that all shape features are aligned (an indent/slit in the top crust is aligned on both halves), etc. And if I'm making multiple sandwiches, bread pieces must stay with their pair.

Most people think this is nuts, but obviously I don't. I also spread things on my bagels/bread meticulously to every edge, though. And I sometimes open and re-arrange sandwiches I buy. :laugh:

Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I sometimes open and re-arrange sandwiches I buy.  :laugh:

I'll do that too.

As for slicing, I'll usually cut diagonally, or even slightly diagonally, just because I find the points are easier to start eating at, if that makes any sense. But if someone else is cutting? I don't care enough to specify. I definitely prefer eating a sandwich that's been halved than one that's whole. I'll even cut my burgers in half!

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's so much fertile ground for discussion here I just don't know where to begin. Like the wise feedmec00kies, my ideal sandwich is uncut. "Don't cut it" is a standard instruction that I give when ordering sandwiches. I even say it when ordering, for example, a buttered bagel. Needless to say, the bagel has to be cut once in order to spread anything on it, but a lot of places will, after spreading, cut it in half again like a sandwich. I find that if you say "Don't cut it," every bagel schmearer in the business knows exactly what you mean, even though the instruction is inaccurate.

If a sandwich is so well endowed, either in length or girth, as to be inedible without cutting, I acknowledge the need to cut. In such cases, I want the cut to be a good one. For crying out loud, cut all the way through the bottom piece of bread. And don't press the life out of the sandwich when you cut.

At some point I'll grab a photo of one of my mother's sandwich-cutting techniques. She has some bad-ass sandwich-cutting skillz.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diagonally cut sandwiches taste better, it's as simple as that, but I've only just realised that I'm inclined to save such a cut for special occasions/special sandwiches. My normal sandwich is cut straight across. I'm a strange man in many ways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other words, the sides that were touching each other originally are still facing each other each other, and that all shape features are aligned (an indent/slit in the top crust is aligned on both halves), etc. And if I'm making multiple sandwiches, bread pieces must stay with their pair.
Thank goodness I am not the only one who does this. :biggrin: I also open up and rearrange purchased sandwiches.

I cut diagonally if the bread is a squarish sandwich loaf, in half top to bottom if it's a rounder variety, and just slice horizontally if it's a baguette. The kids like their halves cut in half again to make squares or triangles.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diagonally if I do cut it, but I often leave sandwiches uncut when I'm bringing them with me that day, so it stays together. I'll still if possible tear it in 2 pieces before I eat it, though. Easier that way.

Kate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also open up and rearrange purchased sandwiches.

You mean there are people who just eat them the way they come?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also open up and rearrange purchased sandwiches.

You mean there are people who just eat them the way they come?

I've seen it with my own eyes. How anyone can eat a sandwich that has the tomatoes bunched on one side, or doesn't have the mustard spread all the way to the edge, is beyond me.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends:

Sandwiches that naturally stay together (such as grilled cheese) then sliced diagonally.

Sandwiches where the filling tends to smoosh out - then straight cut such that one piece has the whole rounded end of a square loaf.

NEVER, EVER cut such that the rounded end is on both halves!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In such cases, I want the cut to be a good one. For crying out loud, cut all the way through the bottom piece of bread. And don't press the life out of the sandwich when you cut.

I'll have to part ways with you there. I get a certain visceral pleasure from tearing apart that last bit of bread at the bottom of a cut sandwich. It makes me feel like a man.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uncut. Most of the time I have a sandwich it's on homemade or previously unsliced bread. Homemade bread, once sliced, doesn't always have enough strengh to hold together when it's sliced across. Or rather, to hold all the ingredients I deem necessary for a good sandwich.

I hate it when stuff falls out of a sandwich, but even worse, if something falls out of my husband's, he'll leave it on the plate and throw it away. Even if it's bacon or tomato!

I grew up with PBJ's sliced across and bologna sliced diagonally, so my mom could tell which was which without any trouble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate it when stuff falls out of a sandwich, but even worse, if something falls out of my husband's, he'll leave it on the plate and throw it away.  Even if it's bacon or tomato! 

That is a crime!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

PB & J or PB & Nutella: vertically, so both halves are symmetrical.

Egg salad: same, altho not sure, since I haven't made one in a long time.

BLT, tuna or grilled cheese: diagonal. Very important to cut through the ingredients on a BLT for the visual. Tuna? I just have to. Grilled cheese: Isn't there a law about this?

Turkey: complicated. Either way, depending on the other ingredients. Details would probably reveal to me to be a lunatic.

I too feel uncomfortable if the bread slices aren't matched as if they were still on the loaf. And I have never eaten a commercially bought sandwich that I didn't have to rearrange in some way first. My husband's sandwiches are so devil-may-care as to defy logic; they are way beyond rearranging.

I will say this, not until I saw this thread did I consider the possibility that I have OCD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diagonally cut sandwiches taste better, it's as simple as that, but I've only just realised that I'm inclined to save such a cut for special occasions/special sandwiches. My normal sandwich is cut straight across. I'm a strange man in many ways.

I'm a firm believer that the way a sandwich is slices affects how it tastes - at least mentally.

With cold sandwiches (deli, PB&J, salads, etc), I prefer the diagonal cut. It just somehow tastes better than any kind of non-diagonal cut.

But with hot sandwiches (hot ham and cheese, leftover meatloaf, etc), top to bottom is the preferred slicing technique.

I don't understand it either.

My real problem comes up when it's on something round, like a roll or a burger bun. Mass confusion sets in as whether to cut it straight across or diagonally.

And my bread slices have to face the right direction, in the order they come out of the bag. The first piece is always the top.

Edited by potsticker (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you all do when one of the slices is smaller, nearer the end of a purchased loaf? And in that vein, does anyone eat the last slice, the one with the white side/brown side?

Here in France, they have a great bread called pain polaire they use for making sandwiches, and to which I am addicted. If round, it gets cut in half to form a half-circle, usually with three pieces stacked. But most common, of course, is the baguette. No cutting. People eat sandwiches as long as their forearm. (I'm not a big fan, I have to admit...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other words, the sides that were touching each other originally are still facing each other each other, and that all shape features are aligned (an indent/slit in the top crust is aligned on both halves), etc. And if I'm making multiple sandwiches, bread pieces must stay with their pair.

My dad taught me to always do this when I was just a kid. I have never varied.

Sandwiches must be cut on the diagonal, always. And the lettuce, etc. goes on top! ALWAYS! I hate it when I'm served an upside-down sandwich. I know I can turn it over but I shouldn't have to.

The only sandwich I eat whole is a fried egg sandwich.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My real problem comes up when it's on something round, like a roll or a burger bun.  Mass confusion sets in as whether to cut it straight across or diagonally.

Further conundrum. Do you cut a burger on a bun? Or, just eat it without cutting? (Me, I'm a two fisted burger eater, setting it down -- at least during the summer -- very carefully so I can grab my ear of corn).

Come to think of it, any sandwich on a bun I prefer uncut.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't matter what kind of bread it's on, what's in it, what phase the moon is in--whatever it is, it gets cut, and it gets cut DIAGONALLY! Baguette? Check. Burger? Check. (Geometry is no obstacle to our unifying theory of the diagonal.) PB&J? Tuna on rye? Eensy weensy tea sandwiches? Check, check, check!

In order to pleasurably commence the eating of the sandwich, it is necessary to have a pointy place to start. That's why they call it a starting point, people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we all should be reporting eating geometries as well as cutting geometries.

Tall sandwiches (BLTs, clubs): four square, middle in. Gotta eat the bacon with care, so you want to see it, and the bread often isn't very good, so once you're out of mayo, leave the crusts.

Round buns (burgers, pulled pork): uncut, working in from one side but twisting around to nab falling bits as the bun collapses.

Grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna melts, panini, and anything on bread with thick toasted crusts: diagonal, working from acute angles in, with the odd bite from the exposed middle as things ooze. Need to have those first few toasted crust bites small to avoid mouth roof injury.

Torpedo/sub rolls: one even cut (NOT diagonal; stuff falls out) in the middle. Always work from middle to ends, stopping when you read the dense, dry roll butt and turning to the other half. Repeat.

ETA: Reading these other responses, I'm utterly convinced that every other approach is sheer lunacy. All diagonal? Cut buns? What kind of freaks are you? Please print out these guidelines and help to restore order in this entropic sandwich universe. Thank you.

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you all do when one of the slices is smaller, nearer the end of a purchased loaf? And in that vein, does anyone eat the last slice, the one with the white side/brown side?

Here in France, they have a great bread called pain polaire they use for making sandwiches, and to which I am addicted. If round, it gets cut in half to form a half-circle, usually with three pieces stacked. But most common, of course, is the baguette. No cutting. People eat sandwiches as long as their forearm. (I'm not a big fan, I have to admit...)

We always called the end piece (white side/brown side) the heel. Growing up, money was too tight to waste it, so it was eaten with much complaint. My husband refuses to eat it and I would rather not. I save them for bread crumbs.

As to cut, everthign on the diagonal. Tuna salad tastes better cut this way. Really :raz: Hamburgers get cut only if they are enormous (I have samll hands).

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...