How To Make The Perfect Sandwich, According To Science

A sandwich can be many things. For breakfast, it might be a bacon, egg, and cheese on a toasted everything bagel. For lunch, it might be a quick peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread for a bite of nostalgia. For dinner, it might be a heartier cold cut sub, piled high with salami, ham, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and hots. The sandwich's great strength is its versatility — simply choose the bread (or other type of base), then stuff it with the toppings and condiments of your choosing.

Everyone has their favorite sandwich. If you're like the majority of Americans surveyed by YouGov, you think the classic grilled cheese is number one, with its gooey cheese and perfectly crusty exterior. 

However, despite your opinions on what constitutes the best sandwich, it turns out that science has something to say about it. Yes, according to Science Focus, there's a scientific way to make a proper sandwich. Here's what you need to know about the method.

It's all about how you build the sandwich

Science has proven that a sandwich is truly a sum of its parts — a.k.a., it isn't the individual ingredients that matter so much as how they all fit together as a whole. More importantly, the key is how you put everything together. Science Focus says, to start, that spreading a thin smear of butter or margarine on the bread before adding anything else "creates a hydrophobic barrier" so your sandwich won't get soggy. 

According to a researcher at the University of Leeds, the next step is to create a symmetrical sandwich. Place your two pieces of bread next to each other and build them identical starting with the butter, then main ingredients (such as meat and cheese), then veggies. Place the two halves together and voila — a sandwich that maintains its shape and crunch (per Taste at 55).

Herve This, a French chemist, explained to Science Focus that a variety of flavors and volume are both important in building a sandwich. "The more you have to chew on in each bite, and the more flavor you get with each mouthful, the less you need to eat to feel satisfied," he said, adding, "Our brain is designed to recognize contrast." The conclusion? Pile on a bunch of toppings and condiments that have differing textures and tastes for the ultimate sandwich.