How to Pack a Sandwich that Won't be Sad and Soggy by Lunchtime
Last week I reflected on just how much a pathetic, soggy salad utterly sucks. And let me tell you, every bit what I depicted there about the suffering and self doubt poorly packed salads inflict upon your life likewise applies to sandwiches.
Sad, soggy sandwiches suck.
But they're also similar to salads in that avoiding the angst of eating one is easy--it all comes down to packing in layers. The key to landing yourself with sad soggy sandwich is assembling the thing at home, then taking it out into the world hours later. What needs to happen is packing the sandwich components, then assembling when you're ready to eat. Here's how: Start with a wide and deep rectangular plastic container–it doesn’t need to be stylish or hip (mine is Glad brand, I got it at Target), it just needs to look like it’s way larger than what you actually need to pack a sandwich in. And then, we layer. Let's start with the bottom layer as layer 1 since that will be the first one you put into your container.
Illustration: Christina Harrison
Layer 1: Sliced Wet Things
Place slices of tomato and cucumbers in a layer on the bottom of your container, so that if and when they leach out any moisture, it doesn't sog out the rest of your sandwich components. Go ahead and sprinkle this layer with salt and pepper.
Layer 2: Meat
Arrange your slices of deli meat, or leftover sliced steak, chicken, etc. on top of the sliced wet veggies. Obviously, if you don't eat meat, you can layer whatever your protein of choice is here (sliced hard boiled eggs, seared tofu, etc.). Or you can skip this layer completely and go all veggies.
Layer 3: Cheese
Place 1 or 2 slices of cheddar or provolone (or whatever you like) on top of your pile o' meat.
Layer 4: Greenage
Lightly place a few leaves of your preferred leafy green--spinach, arugula, romaine, whatever--on top of the cheese.
Layer 5: Folded Paper Towel
This acts as a moisture barrier for the next layer. You can also use a piece of folded parchment paper here.
Layer 6: Bread
And the grand finale--place 2 pieces of bread, side by side, on top of your folded paper towel. Close the container and you're ready to go.
When you're ready to eat, just pull out your bread--pop it into the toaster if you're into that sort of thing (I am) and your office has one--then assemble. I'd recommend investing in an office set of your necessary sandwich condiments (mustard, mayo, etc.) and keeping those in the fridge at work, if possible.