What does fresh mean to you?  Just-picked?  Still covered in dirt?  Mooing this morning?  Whatever your definition, I’m pretty sure this sandwich does not qualify.

Ray Boggiano, British Food Technologist and member of the Society of Food Hygiene Technology, has spent the last year developing a technology that promises to keep sandwiches “fresh” for up to two weeks without refrigeration.The process is called “gas-flushing” (just the term makes me want to hurl), whereby oxygen is replaced by carbon dioxide (c02) and nitrogen during the packaging process, to prevent the oxidation/deterioration of the sandwich sealed inside.

The gas-flush is not the only means of extending the sandwich’s half shelf life: Boggiano’s recipes include a higher-pH mayonnaise, longer-lasting oatmeal bread, and the leaving off of highly-perishable toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes.  Boggiano, Director of RFB Food Solutions (manufacturer of this Frankenstein’s monster), promises that “the product is as fresh on day 14 as it is on day one.” Let’s get something straight: just because something is “not rotting” does not make it “fresh”.

The sandwiches come in varieties such as chicken tikka, Ploughman’s, tuna mayonnaise, ham & cheese, chicken & bacon, and cheese & onion.  They’ll be available at convenience stores around the U.K., and will retail for around £1.49 (US$2.39).

But how does it taste? According to Boggiano,

“We’ve tested them thoroughly and they are nice to eat.”

What a ringing endorsement. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this must be the same packaging process they use for Twinkies here in the US. Those things last for-freaking-ever.