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How Should One Cut a Sandwich?


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It seems that there are rules for practically everything. And it seems that there are people who are obsessive compulsive about rules, and who wonder if anything they are doing regarding food, the preparing of food, the serving of food, the eating of food, the cleaning of plates, the turning on of a water faucet, etc. etc. is the correct way.

I have been wondering for many years if there is a correct way to cut a sandwich. I have decided that there isn't one special way, but perhaps any number of ways. And maybe it depends on what's in the sandwich or what's on the sandwich?

In any event, I usually cut sandwiches, especially when I pack a lunch for Significant Eater, in half, and turn that sandwich into 2 equal rectangles. I think she might go apoplectic if I cut the sandwich on the diagonal, so I avoid that at all costs and hope that I am not breaking any sandwich cutting rules.

How do you cut your sandwiches?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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For sandwiches that I will not share with another but which seem to be too tall to just smush and bite, made on regular squarish-loaved breads, I cut on the diagonal (ensuring that one half has all of the crusty top-crust goodness, and another all of the squishy bottom-crust goodness). If I will be sharing the sandwich, I cut two equal rectangles vertically so as not to cheat the other eater out of any aspect of the crust dynamic.

For sandwiches on things like bagels or round breads, I don't cut them at all. It's not necessary!

For finger sandwiches or other hors d'oeuvre sandwich type things, I use decorative cutters like Annabelle mentions.

So, no, I don't think there's one right way. Clearly there are at least three right ways!

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

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It really depends on the sandwich. A Cuban sandwich tastes better when cut on a diagonal than it does if simply cut in two or, God forbid, not cut at all. You can apply the same principle to any baguette-based sandwich. With exceptions, of course. Stuffed pita sandwiches are problematic. Because the pita is round, you may think that you are cutting on a diagonal, but in fact, you are always just cutting it in two. Either that, or if you cut toward one side or the other, rather than through the center, you make a dog's breakfast of the thing and must throw it out. Or feed it to the dog, of course. It being a dog's breakfast. Of course, if you are sharing a stuffed pita sandwich and, with malice aforethought, you deliberately cut unequal "halves" so as to make off with a little extra for yourself, well, that is just human nature now, isn't it? I note in passing that, for the purposes of this thread, any discussion cutting the crusts off of sandwich bread should properly be viewed as thread drift, and given the history and importance of that tradition, from British high tea to American bridge clubs in the 1950s and beyond, crust-cutting really deserves its own thread...

Edited by Bill Klapp (log)
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Bill Klapp

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I have a set of sandwich cutters that will give the sandwich a decorative edge.

Hope this helps!

Well, it might help others, but it certainly doesn't help me. I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in buying anything to help cut my sandwiches.

If I did, I would come here and start a topic to that effect: "What Should I Buy to Cut My Sandwiches With a Decorative Edge?"

If you really want to be helpful, you should demonstrate how I can cut my sandwiches with a decorative edge using only what I already have.

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Tuna Fish sandwich requires the triangular cut, and the first bite must be in the middle where all the Fish swim to. A Big Bite

catches a lot of Fish.

the rest of the sandwich is pretty much downhill if this maneuver is properly executed.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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When I was a little girl, eons ago, I always wanted my Mother to cut my sandwiches into boats (triangles, of course) which she refused to do. Mama wasn't much fun. Ever.

Now I am very old and the only sandwich I eat pretty much is grilled cheese, which my DH is in charge of, and he always cuts mine into boats. You are never too old to have a happy childhood. :wub: :wub:

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Darienne

 

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Sandwiches on Italian rolls should be cut once in transverse section. Sandwiches by Subway and Quizno should be chopped into fine bits and used to nourish the next generation of bacon.

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Grilled cheese and other grilled sandwiches or sandwiches on toast should be cit in triangles. Those on fresh bread, vertically in half.

Me, too. That's if I bother cutting it at all. For example, I never cut PB&J unless I'm taking it on a trip or to work, when I might want to eat only some and save the rest for later. (Yes, I know I can do that with an uncut sandwich, but that's sort of uncivilized.) On the other hand, Ms. Alex likes her PB&J cut into four pieces, with cuts along the x-axis and y-axis. Hmm. Just to shake things up, I think I'll try an X cut and see how that flies.

Edited by Alex (log)

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I can't believe all these rubes who've never bothered to cut their sandwich according to the rule of the 'Golden Mean'.

It's a rule, people.

"The smaller is to the greater what the greater is to the whole."

Anything else is foolhardy sandwich tomfoolery and guaranteed to send you to sandwich making purgatory.

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PastaMeshugana

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I think this topic falls squarely in the realm of First World Problems. :laugh:

Having said that, I'll say that we always cut grilled cheese sandwiches on the diagonal, nongrilled sandwiches crosswise, and - in DH's case - road sandwiches not at all.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Grill cheese is a double diagonal cut , to give four small triangles. It means many more corners to dip into ketchup or tomato soup.

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"Why is the rum always gone?"

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Uncut. Or diagonally, ensuring as-close-to-accurate-halves-as-you-can-get-unless-you-measure-to-the-nearest-millimetre-and-account-for-sandwich-shrinkage-as-a-result-of-pressure-from-your-hands.

Too, I teach little kids. There's this whole other answer no one else has mentioned that's totally valid: any way that removes the crusts.

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Chris Taylor

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Grill cheese is a double diagonal cut , to give four small triangles. It means many more corners to dip into ketchup or tomato soup.

Goodness me, this is surely the basest of savagery. To take the most elegant and genteel of cuts and to barbarically subject it to KETCHUP? Fair enough, this is the kind of treatment that an agricultural rectangular cut could expect, but the triangular quarter deserves better. This is the cut of upper-crust de-crusted cucumber sandwiches arrayed atop doilies on a silver salver. Ketchup indeed.

Of course, it's a well-documented fact that triangular cuts taste better (and lend a certain opulence to the occasion) for many fillings, but the uninitiated might be tempted to overuse them. I can report that it is highly inappropriate to cut a chip sandwich (and by chip I mean French fry) in this manner, as it will inevitably lead to the dreaded "chip in lap" scenario caused by all those acute angles.

Edited by Simon_S (log)
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Uncut. Or diagonally, ensuring as-close-to-accurate-halves-as-you-can-get-unless-you-measure-to-the-nearest-millimetre-and-account-for-sandwich-shrinkage-as-a-result-of-pressure-from-your-hands.

Too, I teach little kids. There's this whole other answer no one else has mentioned that's totally valid: any way that removes the crusts.

And as you teach little kids, I'm surprised you didn't mention the iconic treatment known by all mothers: one kid cuts, the second choose first.

This method works equally well whether the item being cut is coveted or scorned.

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I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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