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help with sorta soaggy sandwiches

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

Need some help.  My customers seem to like my sandwiches but recently, I noticed they are getting a bit

damp.  Here is what I have done:

 

I put vegan buttery spread on the bread to seal it.  No vegenaise added because it is already included in the salad

spread.  They sit in refrigerated deli case for up to 7 days, but usually they are all sold in 5 days.  

They are wrapped in Food service seal wrap film or sandwich bags.  I use the sandwich bags when I'm in a hurry and need to

wrap quickly.  do you think this is included in the problem.

 

Thanks a bunch for any suggestions.

 

evelyn

post #2 of 19

I am not versed in vegetarian cuisine, but could it be condensation?  Maybe from the plastic baggie?  Or that the spread has gotten older and maybe separates over time?  (BTW, I moved this thread from the New User Intro forum)

post #3 of 19

I was thinking condensation also.

 

Have you considered the wrapping in waxed paper instead of plastic film/bags?  That might be a better solution... and a more environmentaly conciencious solution too.  You won't get 7 day storage, but that doesn't sound too appetizing anyway so it might be a quality improvement on your product.

post #4 of 19

Through my experience with delis, I would try to aim for 3-4 day shelf life and use wax paper.

Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.
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Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.
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post #5 of 19

I'm curious, why make more than sell in a day?
 

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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

I think it might very well be the condensation. Originally, I did not have the prob but this  time, I was extra careful to dry the lettuce very well.

I think it made a difference.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

It's a start up deli food service. I realize the products should move faster but... .

Also, I'm in Georgia and the company that was suppling our sandwiches previously was from PA.

They are refrig shipped to us and according to them can be kept for 7 days.

 

How do they do that?  The sandwich is a faux tuna with lettuce, tomato, etc.

 

Thanks for your response.

 

evelyn

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response, yes I read that waxed paper might work. I am concerned however that customers might prefer seeing a part of the sandwich. So how what would you suggest to keep it fresh, dry and customers motivated to buy using a visible wrap? 

 

Thanks again,

evelyn

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Brian for your reply, Your suggestions were close to another response that I have answered.

 

By the way where do I find the see through waxed paper?smiles.gif

post #10 of 19

Are customers able to get the sandwiches themselves via grab-n-go or do employees have to get the sandwiches out of the case for them? If it is the latter just do like my favourite deli does here in Switzerland. They put a made sandwich(un-wrapped without sauce/butter/etc. so it doesn't get soggy looking) in the very front of the case so the customer can see it, and then put the wrapped and pre-made sandwich behind it. They use glassine wax paper bags for their stuff and I have never had a sandwich of theirs get soggy even after a few days in the fridge.

Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.
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Gourmandise is an impassioned, rational and habitual preference for all objects that flatter the sense of taste.
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post #11 of 19

KindRose... yes, that is a dilemna.  Wish I had an answer to offer but I don't.

 

Waxed paper is opaque, as is any other kind of wrapping paper you might look at.  I understand your concern that people taste and buy with their eyes long before the food is actually eaten.  Even a high-quality photo or display card on a label probably will not be as effective as seeing the exact samdwich being bought.

 

I don't eat many pre-made sandwiches for just he reason discussed in this thread -- one too many soggy sandwiches in the past.  I look for quality but condensation is really what I'm looking for when looking at pre-made sandwiches -- one hint of sogginess and I'd rather go hungry than eat it.

 

This has been especially prevelant with those sammies in the triangle packaging in vending machines.  I sometimes think that they have some secret at the sandwich factory, like filling the packaging with inert gas before sealing it up.  Not that they have ever been good, but I've had some factory-made sandwiches that have saved me from starvation.  :)  But often it seems like a handling issue, where the vending machine guy lets the product sit in the sun and then puts them into a cool machine.  No matter the source of the sogginess though, soggy bread makes me gag.

 

To be honest, I also look at the preparation date.  More than 2 days ago... and I'd rather go hungry.

 

But, somehow, a "healthy natural" sandwich packaged in plastic just doesn't seem right.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Brian 

 

Ha ha, I know what you mean, what a challenge. Even if I can figure out a way to wrap in waxed paper, won't the other problem be that the bread might dry out?  Any other suggestion for

using wax paper or waxed bags.

 

thanks,

 

evelyn

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi there Lucas, 

 

Thanks for the idea of using the waxed bags with the  sample avail for show.  Ours is a grab and go. And well since I have got to try something you and Brian's idea of wax just might

be the only and best alternative to work with.  Anything I might need to know about wrapping sandwiches in wax paper.  Shall I tape it closed. Cover with my label, etc?

 
Thanks,
 
evelyn
post #14 of 19

I'm going with Pete's idea here.  I do lots of vegetarian/vegan stuff.  None of my stuff ever goes past the second day.  Now I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin', ... but I don't think I'd want to eat anything that's been on a shelf for 5-days, much less 7-days.  That's just me I guess.  I'm funny like that. 

 

Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

I'm curious, why make more than sell in a day?

post #15 of 19

I understand that the company you bought sandwiches from gave them a shelf life of 7 days, but, if you are making them yourself, why would you want to do that?  Quality suffers to greatly.  Bread becomes soggy and/or dry and tough.  Lettuce wilts and doesn't hold it's crispiness.  Other vegetables weep liquid making them limp and your bread soggy.  Personally, I feel that you should shoot for making sandwiches fresh every day.  If you over produce serving them the following day would be "okay" as long as they are sold first to ensure that no sandwich goes past the 2 day mark.  After that the quality just really drops off, IMHO.

 

As for wrapping, I think wax paper is your best bet, wrapping the sandwich completely.  Echoing what one of the above posters said; I used to work at a place that was sit down at night but grab and go for lunch.  We wrapped our sandwiches completely in wax paper, but we also had a "display sandwich at the front of the case so that the customers could see what the sandwiches looked like.  We'd change out the lettuce every day, on the display sandwich, and would keep it for 4-5 days.  After that we even deemed the display sandwich unfit for viewing, let alone serving.

post #16 of 19

I agree with Pete. I wouldn't make sandwiches to go past 2 days. I also agree with the display sammy, but if that doesn't work, you can do what they do in many gourmet NYC sandwich places like Pret A Manger. They wrap them in a type of acetate, and use scotch tape to close. They aren't completely sealed like they are with plastic wrap, so they breathe at the edges.

post #17 of 19

Someone here please tell me about the benefits of wax paper for 'wiches as I know nothing of this.  I've always used baggies for mine - to be consumed that afternoon at the latest.  What are the benefits of wax paper over plastic?

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #18 of 19

It breathes a little, so you sandwich doesn't sweat in it's plastic wrapping and condensation doesn't build up. It works great for storing cheese, too. Wrap the cheese in waxed paper, then foil. It doesn't dry out and it doesn't mold or pick up off flavors like it does in plastic. I live alone and it takes me awhile to eat a hunk of cheese, if I'm being prudent. Kept in waxed paper, the paper gets a little limp and damp but the cheese keeps very well. 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Pete, Iceman and everyone,

 

You have all been so helpful.  And yep, of course you are right, fresh daily sandwiches are the best route to take. I've got to figure how to approach the grab and go with the waxed paper. I've just got to keep working with your suggestions to find the appropriate solution

Acetate, such as potentially Pret a Manger--got to further check out, thanks Jake.

 

Great support from you all and very good ideas and solutions. Will continue to try out your ideas and in the meantime build up my customer base for faster turn over.

Should any other cool ideas cross your minds I will be looking out for them.

 

In appreciation,

evelyn

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