The Correct (and Only) Way to Cut a Sandwich

The Correct (and Only) Way to Cut a Sandwich

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Elizabeth Licata
May 10, 2018
(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

I think I'm a pretty easygoing person. I don't care if the toilet paper goes over or under the roll. I don't feel strongly about whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. I don't even have a favorite Spice Girl. One time I even ate guacamole with peas in it, and I liked it!

But there's one subject I feel very strongly about: Sandwiches should be cut on the diagonal, not straight down the middle.

How to cut sandwiches can be a contentious topic. Some people say a sandwich on square bread should be cut diagonally, so the sandwich halves are two triangles. Other people prefer to cut the sandwich straight down the middle to make two rectangles. I am very much #TeamTriangle, and will argue about the superiority of the diagonal cut until I die.

Why the Diagonal Cut Is a Superior Cut

1. It gives the illusion of less crust.

First of all, if we start from the premise that the crust is the worst part of the sandwich, the triangle exposes the longest surface without any crust on it. And the crustless hypotenuses are longer than any individual crust-having side, which makes the sandwich overall seem like less of it is crust. (There's not actually less crust, but the diagonal cut gives the impression of less crust overall.)

2. Also, it's just easier to eat a crustless bite.

With a rectangle, I can usually get a single crustless bite of the sandwich. With a triangle, I can daintily nibble every last bite out of that sandwich and leave the crust behind on the plate if I want to. (I don't, because I am an adult, but I might as well eat the best part first, in case I get full before the whole sandwich is gone.)

3. It's a more intuitive way to eat a sandwich.

A triangular sandwich seems more intuitive. If I pick up a rectangular sandwich, I might wonder, Where do I start? With a triangle it's obvious: You hold the sandwich at the point where the sides with crusts meet, and you bite off the small points before going for those perfect crustless bites right in the middle.

4. It just looks better. I'm sorry.

And from a purely aesthetic standpoint, triangles just look better. Rectangles are blocky. Triangles are dynamic. Would Toblerones seem half as fancy if they were shaped like Hershey bars? They would not.

A Small Caveat

The only possible variant I will acknowledge to this rule is if you make your grilled cheese sandwiches ultra-gooey, as I do. If your primary goal is to contain a leaky sandwich and keep more of the cheese between the bread instead of on the plate, the rectangle is the way to go.

Cutting the sandwich into triangles gives the cheese more room to run out the middle before you've gotten to the second half. Rectangles are blocky and inelegant, but they increase your chances of keeping the cheese inside the sandwich long enough to get it into your mouth. But for all other sandwiches, triangles are the way to go.

How do you like your sandwiches cut?

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