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Fighting ‘filling creep’ with the CounterForce technique

One of the most common problems when eating sandwiches is that they’re made too slippery and all the delicious filling slowly works it’s way to the back of the sandwich, eventually shooting out the back. You’re left with just handles of bread and half the filling on your plate staring back at you like a prematurely birthed alien. It’s embarrassing and happens to even the best of the sandwich eaters. So how do you avoid it? The CounterForce technique!

The filling escapes out the back!
Look at this horrible slide into failure. The sandwich starts out perfect and with each bite ejects the filling out the back. Argh, it hurts even to think about!

Analysis of the slipping problem
The filling slides out because the bread (or wrapping) bends and at the bend, pushes the filling outward in both directions: into your mouth where it belongs and toward the plate, where it don’t. This is often noticed when people hold the sandwich only on the edges, making a little pocket of filling just going full throttle on the runway to the plate.

Counterforce Solution

There is a solution! Don’t despair, CounterForce will save you (and your sandwiches)! The answer lies in a revolutionary new technique called CounterForce: using your fingers to counter the motion of the filling by pressing down just in front of the impact zone. This keeps the filling in place and prevents the loss of delicious sandwich parts. The only twist is that this requires enough friction between the bread and filling, and within the filling if there are multiple layers. Spreads, slippery lunch meats and leaves are all prime culprits for defeating the counterforce technique.

The lesson to be learned from these poorly constructed sandwiches is that the layering order of fillings is extremely important, and if overlooked can completely ruin the sandwich experience. Some things to keep in mind when layering and eating your sandwiches:

  • Select ingredients carefully! Sure a sandwich with avocado, butter and yogurt sounds good, but it’s sure to shoot the avocado’s out the back with the lack of friction. Throw some sprouts around the avocado and you’ve got a perfectly edible sandwich, with a little crunchy texture to write home about!
  • Leaves: Keep the lumpy main vein in peices of lettuce, it provides great friction to a major culprit of filling slip
  • Spreads: If you must apply mountains of slippery spreads (mayo, I’m talkin’ to you!), put something with lots of grip (bacon, you delicious morsel) touching it to counter the sliding.
  • Don’t be shy about CounterForcing: CounterForce in a line across the sandwich to really stop the fillings.
  • Don’t CounterForce only on the sides: the fillings are likely to be missed entirely and make a big torpedo waiting to be launched. Instead, counterforce in the middle of the sandwich, directly on top of the fillings.
  • Use the whole surface area of your thumbs: you will get a much better grip on the bottom of the sandwich and no one will notice.
  • Toasting/Pannini-ing: Toasting the sandwich often lets the ingredients get to know eachother and meld. A prime example are paninis, they almost never leak!
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12 Comments

  1. zarnold wrote:

    I have this problem particularly with PBJ’s because I like to load them up with jelly; thanks much for the post/tutorial!

    Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 12:58 am | Permalink
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6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] I resolve to have a year so chock full o’ sandwiches that some higher power has to CounterForce it in place to keep all the sandwiches from spilling out onto the meta-physical [...]

  2. You da Navajo | Simply Sandwiches. on Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    [...] sauce and the pita-like nature of the sandwich shape, even the most cautious and experienced CounterForce technician will be left with a plate full of remnant ingredients. Sadly, these include delicious [...]

  3. [...] it because it creates “a pocket” that helps keep the fillings in. Hey, Michael, give CounterForce a try! It works on good sandwiches so you don’t have to keep going to Subway. Gross. (And when [...]

  4. Champ's Gourmet Deli is My Work-Lunch Champ | Simply Sandwiches on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    [...] the sandwich is well constructed. The soft, hot roast beef never exhibited any signs of filling creep, the mozzarella was melted through and the bun kept it all in a neat package while helping the [...]

  5. Financier: Not Just for Les Vegetarians | Simply Sandwiches on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

    [...] soaks nicely into it without soaking through. In fact, it’s noticeably easy to eat neatly (no CounterForce or Patrolling needed!). This sandwich is sophisticated, and like a well-dressed Frenchman snubbing [...]

  6. [...] It’s embarrassing and happens to even the best of the sandwich eaters. So how do you avoid it? The CounterForce technique!" I am keaggy.com Filed under: Sandwich elements Leave a comment Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) ( [...]