Sunday, April 26, 2009

Advice for Sandwich Eaters

If you're going to pack sandwiches for a snack and you have a regular 8 to 5 (in my case, 9 to 6) job, you should never pack them the night before. Pack them in the morning, just before you leave for work. If you don't, they're going to taste funny, as the following story will attest.

On the eve before my first day at work I was a bit excited - I made my sandwiches myself (partly to save my mother the trouble of making them the following morning, partly 'cause I wanted them to be just right :P). One with orange marmalade on white bread, another with my mother's chicken salad on whole-wheat bread. I wrapped them in plastic and stowed them away in the refrigerator for safekeeping. The next day, while I was seated in the shuttle on my way home, I could already feel the hunger pangs gnawing at my gut; eagerly I fished out the orange-marmalade sandwich and bit into it. It was a bit flat, since it had spent the better part of the day squished in between my lunch box and my bottle of water, but that wasn't what worried me - I could barely taste anything in it, apart from the bread. There was this barely noticeable layer of moistness that made the middle of the sandwich a bit mushy; it was the only proof I had that I had packed myself a sandwich, and not just a couple of slices of white bread. I finished it and started on the chicken-salad sandwich. That one was very much like the one that had preceded it, except that the bread was grainier and there were these little dehydrated bits of meat in between the bread slices. It was then that I figured out what should've occurred to me the night before.

The bread had had almost a full day to absorb the liquid parts of the filling; sadly, for some reason it didn't absorb the corresponding flavors. The following day, when I ate the sandwiches my mother had packed earlier that morning (strawberry jam on white bread and chicken salad on whole-wheat bread), I confirmed my suspicions: the bread hadn't had enough time to absorb all of the filling, and I could still taste the stuff that went in between the bread, like pureed strawberries or mayonnaise and pickle relish. Eureka. Another minor epiphany that (sort of) improves the quality of my life.

And so, I reiterate my advice: if you're going to pack sandwiches and you won't be able to eat them for several hours, don't pack them the night before. Pack them just before you leave. They'll taste better, trust me.

PS I was going to write about the programming I've been doing, but I figured that would be incredibly boring so I settled for the next best thing. :D Strawberry jam rules. \m/


Emir Rio Abueva said...

Why didn't you eat your sandwiches at work. Were you not given morning and afternoon short breaks? Ahahah!
Hmmm... I want to pack myself sandwiches too, but I hate the hassle... ahahah

Sting Lacson said...

and now you write about sandwiches. LOL!