Is there anything worse than crafting what you believe is a perfect sandwich only to see half of the filling slide out on to the plate (or floor!) in front of you? NPR contributor and host of the Sporkful podcast Dan Pashman doesn’t think so. He has a new book out called Eat More Better in which he covers, amongst other things, the secret to structural sandwich integrity and he discussed it over the weekend with his NPR colleagues.
Most accidental sandwich destruction is the result of what Pashman calls “the sliced cucumber conundrum.” Sliced cucumbers, avocados tomatoes or other slippery sandwich fillers need an ingredient that creates friction to hold them inside their bready casing. He recommends layering your sandwich interiors with leafy greens between each of the more slippery elements to help keep it together. He also recommends avoiding overly crusty bread for those concerned with sandwich stability. The more force required to take a bite out of your sandwich the more likely the filling will shoot out under pressure. As a lettuce alternative, we'd also like to suggest cheese. A melted slice of fontina, for example, does wonders to keep a slippery ingredient in place.
For more tips on lunch construction, vending machine strategies and how to make the most out of eating on an airplane (HINT: It involves filling travel-sized shampoo bottles with Sriracha) you can pick up a copy of Pashman’s book, which is available starting October 14. Until then, just eat your sandwiches carefully.