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Apr 21, 2011 10:12 AM

Cutting Sandwiches

I think a sandwich tastes better if it's cut in half. Especially when it's done diagonally. Whether it be PB&J, grilled cheese, you name it.

Obviously it's irrational and my husband does not understand AT ALL (he's a total logic person) - but does anybody else feel this way? Surely I can't be the only one?

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  1. It is irrational. And I totally agree.

    I prefer my sandwiches to be cut, as well, and the fact that the sandwich is cut does increase my enjoyment of it. I think I derive most of the utility of cut sandwiches from the increased ease of handling.

    That said, there are a few types of sandwiches I don't cut. I almost never cut my burritos in half. Same goes with subs less than, say, 8" or so, especially if cutting it would make it messier or more difficult to handle. Burgers I sometimes won't cut, but I often do.

    I also prefer the diagonal cut.

    13 Replies
    1. re: MonMauler

      I'm not so sure it's irrational!

      I always cut mine diagonally and attack them from the large exposed area created by the cut. That means you're starting directly with the bulk of the fillings, none of that working-through-the-crust-to-get-to-the-filling nonsense! For me, the sandwich filling--regardless of what it is--tastes much better than bread crust, so that's pretty close to a logical explanation :)

      1. re: ryansm


        I actually thought that same thing, "It's not that irrational!" almost directly after I posted and it hit me -- hey, it does let me get at the filling first, and that's the best part.

        1. re: MonMauler

          exact same thoughts here, too.
          diagonal's just prettier.

          1. re: MonMauler

            I don't eat halved (or quartered) sandwiches any differently than a whole sandwich, so I don't think "getting to the filling" is a factor for me. It makes sense though for those of you want to attack the middle first!

          2. re: ryansm

            Not only that, but when you bite into the thin edge of an uncut sandwich you tend to push the fillings toward the center and eventually out the other side. Bite into the cut edge, though, and you push the fillings toward the edge where they tend to be less plentiful. So the bread / filling ratio is better the whole way through.

            That may not be rational, but it's certainly a rationalization! ;-)

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Similar to the movement of tectonic plates, only MUCH faster. And friendlier, especially when russian dressing is a slip plane between pastrami or roast beef, and swiss cheese, on rye.

                1. re: Veggo

                  But when the delicious tectonic dressing oozes out, it tends to burn your tongue when you try to lick it up. Goodbye, Kalapana.

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Sounds pretty high-tectonic to me...

              1. re: ryansm

                Something about a Midwestern upbringing, maybe, but "Worst first, best last" was taught to me as one of life's primary rules. I carried it to extremes by nibbling off the crust all around my sandwiches, then having the center for dessert. The balloon bread we were using would pinch shut when I bit down on it, so the decrusted sandwich was a fat pillow of butter, mustard, mayo and bologna. Yum!

                When Mom cut sandwiches she always did it vertically, right down the middle. Triangular sandwiches were a "fancy" restaurant kind of thing. In our world, a sandwich was supposed to be rectangular or square, except for the party kind that were cut in shapes.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I also go worst to best, so tend to eat my sandwiches in the same way. I always make sure the meatiest, fillingiest, tastiest morsel is the last bite.

                  The downside of this tactic when it comes to a full meal is sometimes I'm full before I'm ready to attack the best parts :(

              2. re: MonMauler

                I, too, differ and say that it is rational, and does change the taste.

                A very similar question arises in Sushi, with the exception that there the question has long been answered but perhaps its reason largely forgotten. Take the Hosomaki, or narrow rolls. They are all traditionally cut in 6 pieces except for the Kampyomaki (dried gourd roll), which is cut into 4.

                Why? I was first brought attention to this by my Itamae, who once presented me with two half-orders of a Kampyomaki with one half-order cut as if using the 6 cut, and the other half-order as if using the 4 cut. (Both half-orders were both cut from the same roll...) Presenting me with both half-orders, he asked me what I thought of them and asked me which one I preferred.

                They were indeed different, even though they were cut from the same roll. And sure enough I preferred the 4-cut roll because the ingredients were better balanced. I thought that the 6-cut roll was out of balance, with the Kampyo powering over the Shari.

                It was at this point that my Itamae explained to me that the Kamyomaki is the only traditional Hosomaki that's cut into 4 pieces.

                What a difference a cut, or in this case how a cut is made, can make!

                1. re: cgfan

                  love this. and how you just know what feels right.

              3. And there was me thinking that everyone cut their sandwiches. I'm a straight across bloke.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Harters

                  Is that English? My dad did that, my mom was a diagonal girl. Or diagonally in quarters for fancy, stand 2 up on the plate and buttress them with the other 2 quarters.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Dunno. It's always diagonal for fancy - I'm just not fancy.

                2. I cut diagonally... one reason for cutting a sandwich diagonally is to give a nice bite-sized corner wedge to start from (vs a 90 degree corner).

                  The reasoning is akin to how you put a roll of tp or paper towels on the holder. Should the paper roll over the top or roll from behind. Some people really care so much that they'll secretly change the orientation of the roll at a friend's house. lol!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dave_c

                    Always wondered about folks who cut the sandwich diaper style, aka diagonally, and then took first bite from center.

                    1. re: dave_c

                      Agreed about the diagonal cut and starting at the tip to eat it. It exposes the ingredients and looks better as well.

                      1. re: dave_c

                        "one reason for cutting a sandwich diagonally is to give a nice bite-sized corner wedge to start from (vs a 90 degree corner)."
                        my thoughts exactly! :)

                        1. re: jujuthomas

                          Along with more exposed cross section versus cutting non-diagonal

                      2. You aren't the only one. Diagonally cut sandwiches just taste better and please keep the halves equal :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cleobeach

                          i always prefer them unequal, so i can eat the smaller half first and have the better, bigger half to eat after. i'm always disappointed when i eat the bigger half first...