You know how you go strolling along through life willy nilly without thinking a thing about how you pronounce the word triathalon, only to discover one day, that it’s actually pronounced triathlon? With no second a?

That’s how I felt the day I discovered I’d been making sandwiches wrong my entire life.

I’ve always been pretty confident in the kitchen.  I mean I have an apron, and a chef’s knife and I know how to separate an egg in my fingers so I’m pretty much a chef.  Now that I think of it, one of my aprons actually has the word CHEF right on it so that pretty much cements it.  I’m a chef.

Who doesn’t know how to make a sandwich.

Here’s what I do wrong.

When I make a sandwich I only butter the bottom piece of bread.  Not the top.  So only one slice of bread gets butter.


I’ve been told it is very definitely weird..  I shudder to think of the number of people I’ve stood before in my kitchen lovingly preparing them a stacked concoction of lettuce, cheese and meat and bread …. with only one piece of the bread buttered.

I thought you put your “starter” piece of bread on the counter, buttered it, then started stacking the rest of the ingredients.  So, bottom slice of bread, a little bit of butter, pastrami, mustard, salt, pepper, cheese, marshmallows, lettuce, top piece of bread with no butter.  Orrrrr buttered piece of bread, chicken salad, salt, pepper, top piece of bread with no butter.

My whole life I’ve thought you only butter the bottom slice of the bread.  I don’t know for sure but I’d bet I can blame my mother.  It’s because of her that I like to cook chicken breast until it’s the perfect degree of doneness and then cook it an hour and a half more.  (I’m actually learning to get over that)

I’ve had my sandwich making faux pas pointed out to me a few times in the past several years but I’m hoping maybe this is a thing.  That there’s an entire group of us in the world that only butter the bottom piece of bread.  We’re likely an elite crowd of sandwich makers who will be rounded up when the time is right,  save the world one bologna sandwich at at time.  Because a bologna sandwich can make any situation better.  Everybody knows that.  We’re going to save the world we single bread butterers, just you wait and see.


A toasted poppyseed bagel with sprouts and swiss is pretty good too but it can’t save the future of all mankind like the single bread buttering coalition’s bologna sandwiches could.

O.K.  Lay it on me.

Does ANYONE else out there only butter one piece of the bread?

Who among you is also going to save the world when called upon by the Templar of Toast!

Tell me.  Do you butter both pieces of bread in a sandwich.

Have  a good weekend!


  1. Diane says:

    Butter… for meat sandwiches?? What? Why? Butter is for grilled cheese sandwiches. If I put jam in my sandwich, it gets PEANUT butter. Meat sandwiches get mayo or miracle whip. Usually on both pieces of bread. Tuna sandwiches don’t get extra mayo or miracle whip because they have enough in the mix (tuna, white goo, relish, often some dill and celery).

  2. mia pratt says:

    Yes butter on both sides now, but I used to do just the bottom, too. I learned about buttering both sides, and another neat factoid, from a Canadian friend of mine, chef Greg Couillard. He used to hang out at my house in Mexico sometimes and when we made sandwiches one day he said that with sandwich contents, put the lettuce and tomato on the side with the ketchup and mayo (think thousand island dressing on salad) and then, put the mustard side with the onion and pickle. Then you have two separate flavor sets enhancing the meat and cheese. Especially for burger assembly…he always butters and grills both sides of the interior buns, and then applies his same rule for the assembling the rest of the contents. Now I do it his way every time<:}

  3. Maggie Andrew says:

    Definitely butter both sides( not margarine yuk) and here in Great Britain if you want to be really posh those in the know mix chopped watercress with butter when making cucumber sandwiches! X

  4. Noreen says:

    You’ve awoken everyone’s inner sandwich professor!
    I’ve never seen this many responders! There’s no right or wrong way to make a sandwich – you make it how you like it.

  5. Lin N says:

    Have always made my sandwiches with putting butter on the bottom slice of bread or toast. I believe everyone else is doing it incorrectly!

  6. Julia (mumo3kids) says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the main reason to have a sandwich is as an excuse to eat butter, so I’m definitely a two sides girl…

  7. Lynn says:

    One slice only, no butter (even for jam…then it’s just jam). Other condiments may include but are not limited to mayo, mustard, hummus, cranberry sauce (or cranberry-mayo combo), wasabi mayo, etc. But again, one slice only and usually the top slice, not the bottom.

  8. Jen says:

    Hey Karen – I had always buttered both sides of my bread until “I” was told I was weird for doing both!! I thought that was so strange – just thought my 2 sides was something I was taught by my mum too. She was a Brit – she also ate (and so did we and man was it good) chip buttys – which is one slice of bread, lathered in butter with fries inside (it was folded over). Ask the Beatles it’s a Liverpool thing. Anyway, I now only butter one side (if at all) since I keep growing older and trying not to be fatter. I had many people say to me – OMG – it’s insane that you would butter both top & bottom bread. Butter makes bread better – if you feel like butter – do both but if you just did a 5k run, just do the one lol!

  9. Jeannette says:

    I haven’t had a bologna sandwich in years; now I really want one–on toast, with mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomatoes, no butter!

    • Julie says:

      But if it was a fried balogna sandwich, and the bread was buttered, and there was a cheese slice on it, it would be all melty and delicious…..I thought these were so delicious, back in the day!

  10. Danee says:

    Butter on your sandwich must be a Canadian/British thing? My dad used to butter peanut butter sandwiches! Wha??????? I don’t even butter toast! (I do use cream cheese on toast or homemade bagels) for me butter on bread is always mixed with garlic and then baked into garlic bread. Spain’s breakfast toast is toasted bread with a clove of garlic rubbed on the toasted side, fresh tomato squished into it, a drizzle of olive oil and loads of black pepper and salt (to my taste anyway) and then if I’m really splurging some jamon serrano slices on top! Aside from American fast food places, condiments are never on the sandwich, they are served on the side, which for me, who has a fear of ketchup and and I’m not crazy about mayo either, is just fine. Mustard which I do like, particularly grainy mustard only goes on one side of the bread, the top one.

    • Penny says:

      Ooo-er, my tummy just rumbled as if I’d swallowed a small angry bear as I read your ‘breakfast toast’ description! It’s not a sandwich, admittedly, but it sounds as if it would cause a foodgasm.

  11. Wendy says:

    When I was much younger and didn’t have to even think about what I ate it was butter on both pieces of bread..lots of it and spread to the very edges. Now that I’m older and much wiser I only use mustard and maybe a touch of light mayo..in fact I rarely eat bread!

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Oh course I butter both slices you nut-bag….and she’s trying to blame it on Betty…this is just sad…

  13. Sherry in Alaska says:

    So, obviously, there are lots of ways to make a sandwich. However you do it, just make yourself happy. But there’s only one correct way to spell triathlon, I had NO idea there’s only one a! I don’t know how I got to be this old not knowing THAT!! Never too old to learn something new. Thanks Karen.

  14. Margaret K. says:

    Thin layer of butter to edges of both slices of bread – only on 1 side of each, the inner side unless it is a grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t like mayonnaise on my sandwiches unless it’s tuna fish of egg salad, and then the bread doesn’t need any spread – it’s all mixed in the tuna/egg. But my husband is a mayo on both pieces person, even if he is also using mustard.
    However, if it’s an uncooked cheese sandwich and I am eating it immediately, then no butter.

  15. Dominic says:

    No butter. Mayo or mustard or both if you prefer, but no butter unless it’s a grilled sammich.

  16. Madeline Hendrickson says:

    So–butter on both slices for sure, it keeps the bread from sticking and getting gluey. Interesting note: our camp used to have a food booth at a local summer fair.For the sandwiches, one slice of bread was white, the other was brown. We turned the pre-made sandwich to whichever bread the customer asked for. No waste!

  17. Hazel says:

    I’m British and I don’t butter my sandwiches. And I definitely don’t like margarine/spread on them. But I am willing to admit that I may not be a typical Brit in that respect.
    I would use mayo or chutney or both, in which case I’m with Carolyn- mayo on the salad side, chutney on the protein side. If I was eating cucumber sandwiches I may make an exception and butter the bread, but it would have to be real butter.
    Peanut butter (or lemon curd) = no butter.
    Jam = butter because that’s not a sandwich, that’s bread and jam and bread.

  18. Helen Whaley says:

    Butter, on both sides of the sandwich, seems to be a British thing. Most Americans use other condiments like mayo or mustard.
    Seems as though Miss Canada has decided to meet both Nations half way.

  19. Sandi says:

    Butter? On a non-panini?!

  20. maggie aikens says:

    Oh my… There’s a special hell for us isn’t there.?.? I can feel the heat…

  21. Sarah says:

    It’s never occurred to me to put butter on my sandwich, but it sounds amazing! We’re a mostly mayo household. We will usually melt cheese on one side and then slather a little mayo on the other. Depending on the other ingredients, we might make a special sandwich sauce consisting of mayo, sriracha, and a dab ranch dressing. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

  22. Valerie says:

    No butter on either piece of bread if the filling is mixed with mayo and I intend to eat it right away.
    Butter both outsides for grilled cheese but to make sure the sandwich is perfect, after grilling I place on the plate and microwave for 10 seconds for perfectly drippy cheese. This also helps to lock in the onion slices if I have added them on top of the cheese prior to grilling.
    Butter both pieces if I am going to wrap in waxed paper and take away for later to prevent sogginess.
    Always butter both sides after I toast a bagel.

  23. Lynda says:

    You don’t pronounce the second “a”?!?

  24. Kathy says:

    I can’t go with the butter. Is this room temp to spread easy? I really like a lettuce wrap, no bread, butter, or other condiments just lettuce, thin sliced meat and cheese rolled up. Now I use romaine and the canoe shape is good for holding the filling. But in the old days of bread, it was bread, lettuce, meat, tomato with a squirt or blob of condiment, lettuce again and bread. I like the crunch of lettuce and at some point it came to me that bread was my least favorite in a sandwich and poof it went away.

  25. Gillian says:

    Butter on one piece, Mayo (or ranch) on the other.

    I also don’t butter if I’m using peanut butter.

    I also only butter if I’m actually toasting the bread….even then though I won’t butter both slices.

    Both pieces (only if they’re toasted) will get some kind of spread but, usually only one spread: butter and honey; peanut butter and jam; butter, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, pastrami, salt, pepper, cheese ranch/Mayo.

    You are not strange. Butter and peanut butter and jam and butter is strange and makes me think of arteries clogging….. LoL.

  26. Alisa says:

    Mayo. On both sides. A nice, thick, slathery layer of mayo. Now THAT’S how you make a sandwich.

  27. Sue says:

    I only just discovered how much better a layer of butter under the other condiments tastes. I always wondered why my sandwiches were just OK; enough to stave off hunger with a few chips and a dill pickle on the side.
    So, now I put an extra thin layer of butter on both sides and feel my sandwiches rival – or at least hold their own – beside most others.

    • Julie says:

      I think you’re right Sue…I don’t eat them that way now, but grew up eating them that way, and I think they ARE better!

  28. Pam says:

    The only sandwich I regularly butter is grilled cheese, otherwise it’s mayo & mustard on both slices. Maybe butter on a sandwich is more suited to meat, of which I do not partake. Nor do I partake of triathalons or triathlons.

    • Phyllis Kraemer says:

      Next time you are making a grilled cheese, try using a very thin layer of mayo instead of butter…you will be astonished at the results…completely even, perfect browning of the bread right to the edges, with a wee bit of a crunch…honestly…delish!!

      • Karol says:

        When my best friend and I started sharing our first apartment together, we were both aghast that the other made grilled cheese differently. I grew up with the bread buttered, she grew up with mayo instead. Neither of us had ever heard of it being prepared any way but ours. I tried it with a little mayo, and you are right Phyllis, there is no real taste difference, and it has a wee bit of crunch when it is grilled. I still use butter but in a pinch, will use mayo if I am out of butter. I also like peanut butter and butter sandwiches… toasted, for breakfast.

        • Jenny says:

          My husband and I have been together for 12 years and I just now noticed that when he makes a grilled cheese sandwich, he not only butters the bread but also melts some butter in the pan. I made the most absolutely perfect grilled cheese the other night with this method. I grew up just buttering both sides and plopping it into a nonstick pan, which works just fine but doesn’t yield the same golden crispiness. World = changed.

  29. Marie says:

    One side is for butter. The other for Mayo. Or Pesto …now that I’m a growed up.

  30. Rick says:

    If no other condiment is to be applied then butter. Naked bread should never touch the sandwich ingredients.

  31. shirley says:

    I have always believed (like many of the false beliefs I have acquired over the years) that the butter ‘sealed’ the bread like a layer of Petroleum Jelly. Butter would stop the sandwich filling and condiments ‘leaking’ into the bread and making it soggy.
    So I always meticulously butter both sides of the bread right to the corners and in fact I get quite distressed if a person making a sandwich for me, neglects to do this.
    Worst case scenario is the person who doesn’t use butter at all – mayo just will not do!
    Sorry Karen – I think you are weird – but love your blog!

    • karen says:

      exactly! it doesn’t matter what you use, but something has to glue the bejeezus out of the content. condiment/sauce to the very edge on the inside…unless cheese is included if paninied (is that a word?). e.g, the grilled cheese sammich. butter on the outside only.

      are you tallying up? looks like you’re still the only single-side-buttered sandwich girl.

  32. Jeanette says:

    Butter? Seriously?

  33. Fritzy Dean says:

    What Haydee said! No butter on bologna sandwiches….or any other sandwiches. We Texans consider butter too sissified to put on a sandwich. We like hot spicy brown mustard in these here parts.

  34. Nicole says:

    Butter, mayo, mustard on the top and bottom slice exactly which depends on the filling and the flavours. I also say triathalon as difficult as it might be for my autocorrect to accept.

  35. Carolyn says:

    Ick to butter on sandwiches. Mustard on the bottom piece, then meat, possibly cheese, then lettuce, then mayo on the top piece. Always mustard on the meat side and mayo on the lettuce side. I am always shocked to find this convention not always honored. Took me ten years to get my husband to go along with the plan. He would sometimes make them upside down!

    • Beckie says:

      This is my way. Mustard next to the meat, mayo next to the lettuce.

      I will butter a peanut butter & jelly sandwich or a peanut butter & banana sandwich, but will never butter any sort of meat sandwich ever :P *ick*.

    • Darla says:

      I agree Carolyn and restaurants just look at me weird when I ask for this on my burgers. The only time I use butter is on a grilled cheese sandwich. Then it’s toasted in the pan.

  36. martina says:

    I’m learning that a lot of weirdos read your blog! I think there are plenty of ways to go with condiments depending on the sandwich and the way it will be employed. If I’m packing it to go the butter is like moisture block so it goes on both side, for instance.

    • Kim says:

      YES! This is it! Butter is s moisture block! That’s why you need it. So if cheese is on the very top and you are going to eat it right away it is not as necessary.

  37. Tracy says:

    Butter on the bottom slice, cream cheese on the top slice.
    It’s all about the layers.

  38. No butter.

    And mayonnaise is not meant to be eaten. Ever. In any form. By anyone.


    • Ann says:

      Many of us consider home made mayo to be better than ice cream. I can eat it by the spoonsful right out of the jar

    • Katie says:

      I’m with you Cynthia! No mayo… Ever… Ew.

      I do however, loooooooove mustard or guac on sandwiches and I only put it on one piece of bread.

    • MindyK says:

      Condiments and their placement are clearly a matter of preference and training. I like spicy mustard (on one side only) or oil&vinegar, depending on the sandwich, but never at the same time.

  39. Kathleen says:

    Don’t like butter on my sandwich. Any other condiment, yes, on both sides, but butter? No! When I make sandwiches for the family, I butter both slices, although my family are left examining the sarmie under a microscope to find the butter! :)

  40. MissChris SA says:

    Well, in this neck of the woods, we butter both sides.

    You would think to be living below the breadline if you only buttered one slice :-)

    Have a grand weekend!

  41. Shortbreadhen says:

    Butter both sides….and if it is a sandwich that needs mayo/mustard that goes on both sides on top of the butter.
    Just like my mom makes it.

    Now I need to go make a sandwich…

  42. Ronda says:

    definitely butter on top and bottom slices … and from edge to edge to edge! THEN the Miracle Whip. Mayo doesn’t cut it!

    • Barbara H. says:

      Yes, Ronda, Miracle Whip all the way! And button on top and bottom from edge to edge to edge.

    • Debbie says:

      I grew up with Miracle Whip as my brother was/is allergic to eggs. Now I won’t go near it. Kind of like toothpaste. Grew up with Crest, left home and bought Colgate. I use Tom’s and others, but still won’t use Crest.

      I did spoil myself once by making homemade mayo – it was phenomenal. I’ll have to try it again even though I’m not a huge mayo fan.

  43. Leal says:

    Yep, butter on one slice, other condiments on second slice. Not sure about the marshmallows though, maybe on the side?

  44. Jaclyn says:

    I only butter one side of the bread. And if I’m using more than one condiment, I split them between slices – butter on the bottom slice, mustard on top. Sandwich making is an art – you’re just using your artistic flair in making those sandwiches! (and if you are interested in the art of sandwich making, you must read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. There are many delicious sandwiches).

    • ktr says:

      I whole heartedly agree; you must put one condiment on the bottom piece and another on the top piece of bread. Otherwise you risk having too much on one piece and then it leaks out.
      I thought my grandma was the only one who put butter on a sandwich. Maybe you are secretly a 75 year old Polish woman.

  45. Janice Nassar says:

    I was shocked! Not that you buttered only one side of a sandwich, but that you use butter instead of mayonnaise! You butter toast, not sandwiches! I, of course do apply mayo to BOTH pieces of bread! Lots of mayo! Most sandwiches bought in deli’s seem to have no butter or mayo at all in which case, I have to ask for mayo. Lots of mayo. I am trying to imagine a sandwich with butter but no, I can’t. Sorry. I enjoy your blog though!

    • Janet says:

      I’m with Janice! It’s got to be MAYO and LOTS of it.

    • Karen says:

      So let me get this straight. If you were making a piece of bread with jam, you’d slather it with mayo first? ~ karen!

      • Shel says:

        That’s toast. A sandwich is not a true sandwich without meat, cheese and some vegetables. And mayo. As the formula above suggests:

        toast + butter (and possibly jam) = taste bud happiness
        sandwich + mayo (and optional mustard) on both slices = eternal bliss

        • Karen says:

          But what if the jam sandwich has a top on it? Surely it’s a true sandwich then. ~ karen!

        • Slice of bread, slathered in jam, whack another slice of bread on top. Jam sandwich. No butter. At all. Simple.

          I never use butter (or marg) in sandwiches, regardless of the filling. I just don’t feel the need for it. If it’s cheese or seitan, for example (I’m vegan… and yes, I do make vegan butter – and cheese – and yes, they are delicious!), it’s bread, salad, cheese or seitan, more salad or something like tomato or cucumber, then the other slice of bread. The veggies make sure the sarnie isn’t dry. I may have vegan mayo if I’m feeling particularly daring, or some of my own salad dressing. But mostly it’s not needed.

          In fact, the only bready things I have butter on are crumpets, or toast if there is to be Marmite on top… because it’s actually against all of the laws of the universe to have toast and Marmite with no butter. I don’t want to be responsible for the sky falling in.

        • tiffany says:

          2 thumbs up on the toast and Marmite

      • Lifesart says:

        I like my toast, or my jelly sandwiches, without butter. The butter just makes the toast soggy, and the sandwiches usually have a different kind of butter – soy, or peanut or cashew.

    • Nancy Wilder says:

      Janice, where do you live? Here they always slather on the mayo, and I have to scrape some off unless I remember to ask for “light” mayo, in which case they put a normal amount, not gobs! Not that I don’t like mayo. Just not more than what else is in the sandwich…lol

      Now I want butter on a sandwich. Or just a sandwich. Now. Thanks, Karen!

  46. Haydée Skeet says:

    There should be NO BUTTER on sliced Bologna sandwiches. Ewww brings me back to camp lunches. Butter, mustard & slimy bologna, blech! That is probably what turned me against butter on most sandwiches. Nope never.

  47. Jamieson says:

    I totally agree with you! Yes, you are a weirdo.

  48. Debbie D says:

    Butter? No butter. I am a mustard girl and yes, I do both pieces of bread. On very rare occasion, I use mayo, but mostly use mustard. Oh yea, it can’t be a wimpy regular mustard (none of the yellow bottle stuff), I want a good spicy deli mustard or horseradish mustard. Love mustard!

  49. stephanie says:

    Butter on the bottom, mayo/mustard,etc on the top is. How they do it at culinaryschool

  50. Andrea says:

    What’s weird is putting butter on a sand which you crazy Canadian. I do however only put MAYO AND MUSTARD on one side of the sandwich.

    • Lori says:

      Ha ha – ditto! First thing I thought was “Butter??” And I’m from the Great Lakes (so very very close to Canada). Mayo or mustard on the bottom. However, I’ve always put cheese or lettuce next to the top slice (everything is better with cheese) to keep the bread from getting soggy.

      Laughed at cooking the chicken (or veggies, or anything) an hour and a half past doneness. Thanks Mom! Didn’t discover asparagus wasn’t supposed to look limp and lifeless until I moved away from home. (This was before the internet.)

    • KimS says:

      Agreed! Butter? No way!

    • ally says:

      Nope, I use NO butter and I’m Canadian. Very Canadian (if there’s such a thing). Mayo is suitable to the innards of the sandwich. Maybe mustard. Never butter, or any facsimile thereof.

    • Katrina says:


      Nope, I put mayo on one piece of the bread. I dislike lots of gobby mayo on bread. Even when I go to a sandwich shop and order and sandwich, I ask for light mayo on one slice of bread.

      The mayo has to be Best Foods… I hate that sweet mayo some use in sandwich shops. lol

      But, Butter?

    • Kay says:

      I am with you, Andrea! BUTTER on a sandwich that isn’t toasted cheese!? Are we missing something here!? I too, put the condiments on the bottom slice then lettuce then meat, THEN the cheese to keep both pieces of bread from getting soggy! But, are you and I missing out on something with the butter!

    • Lifesart says:

      Ditto here too! I never put butter on the bread for a sandwich. Mayo or mustard or horseradish or….. but not butter. That said, whatever I use, I put on both sides. But you’re not weird, Karen, you’re Karen!

    • Debbie says:

      Exactly! The only time butter goes on a sandwich is when the sandwich is about to become grilled cheese. My stomach did flip flops when thinking about butter on a sandwich!

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