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When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em: Capture errant fillings by Patrolling the Border!

Back in November of 2007, we introduced the CounterForce Technique for fighting filling creep. The gist of it is that to keep all your fillings, you need to use your fingers to push against your bite to keep them in your sandwich. While it often works well, there are some sandwiches that are just plain unruly: Yeah, I’m looking straight at you avocado*! Be ashamed! How are we supposed to deal with these miscreants? We certainly can’t use a fork and mop up the plate after they’ve run away and we can’t avoid them altogether (they ARE delicious). Never fear, we can capture ALL the fillings by simply Patrolling the Border!

Patrolling the Border lets you mix whatever slippery fillings you want and always get them before they fall! It takes a bit of practice and speed, but it’s got a good learning curve. Let’s review what happens to our fillings when we dine on ‘wichs:
It’s depressing even to think about. Look at all those fillings just getting away, running for the plate. I’m tearing up, I can’t take it, let’s move on.

It’s the horizontal part of our bite force that pushes the fillings out! This will happen as long as our teeth aren’t perfectly straight and we can’t break the sandwich perfectly. Maybe we should sharpen our teeth so we can bite only vertically? Put your files away there’s an easier solution…

Instead of fighting the slide as the CounterForce Technique dictates, this solution gives into the slide only to catch them on the other end. You bite around the sandwich, catching and reversing the flow of fillings, slowly building a star out of your sandwich. Lots of us do this without thinking about it, when pure animal instinct kicks in, “Hey gravity, I see you taking my fillings! Give them back you greedy bastard! KAPOW! Take THAT!” This technique practically guarantees that you won’t miss any fillings. The challenge is that as you bite around the ‘wich, the fillings become more exposed and your hand-holds less abundant. It also makes you look a little silly (to people who don’t value sandwiches enough) while you tilt your head to catch the runaways. Have no shame about patrolling the border, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to maximize your sandwich — the real shame is having to clean up your plate afterward!

Anyone patrol on a regular basis? How does it treat you and your sandwiches?

*(To keep avocado in your sandwich, cut it up into small chunks with lots of edges or make guacamole and spread it thinly. Avoid slices at all costs!)

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  1. jake wrote:

    Great illustrations!! Awesome post. I do tend to use this technique, but never had an explanation or name to call it by…most always with subs featuring ingredients that are not a true solid (tuna or chicken salad, sauce from meatball sub, etc.). Patrolling the border is the best technique I know of, unless someone looks forward to eating the fallout with a fork or something! (I’d rather call it fallout then ‘droppings’ or such…sounds like bird poop.

    I think a sandwich wouldn’t serve its purpose of being a ‘portable food’ if fallout was common, you know, like the consumer would be better off with a plate of food if they want to use utensils.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
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  1. […] quite obviously hamburgers are sandwiches. I’d like to call special attention to two things. The first is a post on what he calls “filling creep,” the process familiar to all of us where the middle of our sandwich migrates outwards, sometimes […]