Sandwich Angst

Here’s a matter I think we need to discuss–extraneous crap on sandwiches. Now, this extraneous crap is usually mayonnaise. Of course, mayonnaise on a sandwich is not always extraneous. Sometimes, it’s very tasty and brings a sandwich together. But other times, you can just tell that some fast food exec was like “Um, we can’t have nothing on this sandwich. Put some mayo on there!” And, inevitably, they will place the mayo right on top of the iceberg lettuce, which is inevitably wet, which causes the mayo to lose viscosity (or maybe gain viscosity… become more liquid anyway) and shoot right out the back of your sandwich, using the lettuce as a slide down which it gains momentum.

People of earth, if all your mayo is doing is sliding off your sandwich onto the clothing of the sandwich eater, you don’t need it on the sandwich.

But this is not a rant against the over-mayo-fication of our culture. Or at least not solely.

This is a rant about how my mom, still, insists on ruining perfectly good peanut butter and jelly sandwiches through the addition of butter. It’s peanutbutter, Mom. Why would I need another layer of butter beneath it? And how does she even get the jelly to spread once she’s lubed up the bread?

And why, more importantly, does she continue to guilt us into letting her make us sandwiches so that she can “feel useful,” even though she is already incredibly and awesomely useful merely by being alive? And why, after almost four decades, does she still put butter on my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

But most importantly, you may ask, why am I ranting about my mom, who’s busy with her life up in Illinois?

Fucking mayo dripping out of my sandwich onto me at lunch.

Just had me thinking about bullshit sandwich practices.

Maybe we could just make a law that food vendors may not put mayo and lettuce right next to each other on sandwiches.

I don’t know. I need to call Thelma Harper about this, I think. I wonder if you have to wear a stylish hat just to speak with her? Maybe I should just stick with Gary Moore. I think I’d have an easier time getting together a stylish mustache than finding an appropriate hat that would fit my giant head.

13 thoughts on “Sandwich Angst

  1. Agreed about Mayo; it’s only purpose is for a BLT. My question, certain to create controversy: why would someone ruin a perfectly good peanut-butter sandwich with jelly? Butter, yes; jelly, no.

  2. Weren’t both you and my mom born in Illinois?! Is this butter that TOUCHES peanut butter thing some kind of Illinois monstrosity?!

    The only time peanut butter needs butter is when you’re making peanut butter toast.

    But non-melted butter? Touching peanut butter?


  3. You know that in England buttered sandwiches are called “butties”? Your mother is fixing you peanut butter and jam butties.

  4. it’s as if you eavesdropped on lunch yesterday. We were eating burgers and “reviewing” them as well. We were asked by the host (our mutual friend you refer to as Smiley) “what about the burger was so good?” — the other lunch companion made the astute observation of the order of the condiments – particularly the position of the mayo: when it is too close to the meat, it gets warm and running, ruining the burger altogether.

  5. People of earth, if all your mayo is doing is sliding off your sandwich onto the clothing of the sandwich eater, you don’t need it on the sandwich.

    I believe this is a very succinct, common-sense metaphor for most world problems. And I *heartily* endorse it, in all its forms.

    Then again, mayo could just be mayo.


  6. The butter is good if you have to transport the PB&J, or eat it later: the fat in it keeps the jelly from getting the bread all soggy. But no, it doesn’t need to touch the peanut butter (and FWIW, it works just as well to put a Very Thin Layer of PB under the jelly).

    (My mom did that too. She liked it, evidently.)

  7. and FWIW, it works just as well to put a Very Thin Layer of PB under the jelly

    Unless you make PB&Js like me in which about half the jar of jelly goes on the sandwich. In that case, if you want non-soggy bread, you must eat it right away and rather quickly, with copious amounts of napkins.

  8. I love the term bullshit sandwich practices.

    My grandmother used to put butter on every kind of sandwich (like cucumber sandwiches), which my family was discussing with fond disgust not long ago. My theory is that it was a Depression thing – like, the butter is not there for flavor but because some kind of animal fat must go on a sandwich to make it stick to your ribs.

    As for bullshit mayo practices… I like my condiments moderate, but I briefly worked at a food shop wherein I repeatedly served a repeat customer who would request a roast beef sandwich “with more horseradish sauce than you think is possible.” I would glob it on and he seemed to like it…. it looked gross, but I felt fond of his weird tastes.

  9. I saw a whole Good Eats episode ages ago about “sandwich architecture.” (This was before the Good Eats host guy started getting on EVERY LAST NERVE I HAVE with his “aw shucks, ain’t I the clevererest?” schtick.)

    It was very helpful, yet oddly frightening to think how much thought someone else had put into the whole concept. But at least now I can assemble the best sandwiches ever.

    Oh look. It’s on youtube.

    Anyway, I will say one other thing designed to get me excommunicated from society. I hate.hate.hate. PB&J. The texture of them is not unlike what I imagine the texture of an eyeballs and guts sandwich to be.

  10. But have you ever had a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich?

    I know, it sounds disgusting, but it’s really good. My dad made me one when I was about 7, and I’ve loved them ever since.

    The tanginess of the mayo brings out the sweetness of the PB. We’re used to its being the savory component of a PBJ. It’s a flavor revelation!

    You just have to make sure you have a gallon of really cold milk on hand—between the mouth-roof-stuck properties of PB and the astringent effect of the mayo, it’s like gargling with Sea Breeze.

  11. So my friend’s mom makes all sorts of seemingly icky sandwiches that turn out to be delicious. The one that has shocked my the most are the “ribbons.”

    white bread – PB – jelly – white bread – egg salad – white bread, sliced into 4 long pieces.

    I know I won’t convince anyone with just the description, but they’re yummy.

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