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Point-Counterpoint

Point-Counterpoint: What’s the Best Way to Slice a Sandwich?

Two ATK staffers take a bite out of this age-old debate.
By and Published Mar. 22, 2022

There are countless sandwich ingredients and combinations, but everyone knows there are only two primary sandwich slicing techniques: vertical and diagonal. 

Most people go about their lives not thinking much about the way their sandwiches are cut. But in a recent team meeting, we discovered that we have staffers who sit squarely, passionately in each camp. Here are their arguments for why their slice is superior.

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A Vertical Slice Evens the Playing Field

By Sam Block

For me, it’s all about the vertically cut sandwich. And it’s not just because that’s the sandwich direction I grew up with. There’s scientific reasoning!

Well, kind of. Hear me out.

Look at a piece of sandwich bread. It has four sides, right? The top—the more domed side—is obviously the best. It’s soft. It’s fluffy. Sometimes it even has delicious seeds attached to it.

Working your way down, you have the sides. They're fine. They’re structurally sound. They do their job.

But the bottom? The bottom of the bread is arguably the worst. It’s the most dry. The most crumbly. If any crust should be cut off of a sandwich, it should be the bottom. 

When you cut a sandwich diagonally you end up with one half that gets all of that fluffy, top crust glory. The other half gets the entire bottom. To me, that’s not fair. The experience of eating both halves of your sandwich should be equal. Equal top, equal side, and equal bottom.

Sandwiches should be cut vertically. Period.

Diagonal Sandwiches Have all the Right Angles

By Danielle Lapierre

There is no wrong way to eat a sandwich, but there is a better way to eat one. And that is by cutting it diagonally.

I believe your sandwich slicing preference depends on how you ate them growing up. My mom always cut them diagonally, like her mother did. But on the occasion my dad made my lunch, he would always cut them vertically, like his mom. So after years of lunches to compare, and hundreds of sandwiches eaten, I am firmly team diagonal.

First off, I believe a diagonal cut looks nicer, if you’re going for that. You get a nice, wide view of all the glorious toppings on the inside, like a picturesque landscape.

But it isn’t just aesthetics that supports my belief. It also provides a better eating experience. With a diagonal cut, you’re able to attack the sandwich from optimal eating angles: starting from each corner and working your way in.

Finally, I believe it creates the illusion of a bigger sandwich. I know it’s the same amount of bread and toppings as any old vertically cut one, but it feels like I’m getting more bites thanks to the extra length a diagonal cut provides. And as anyone knows, the worst bite of a sandwich is the last one. So why not make it last a little longer?