Three year sandwich on front burner

Army food-scientists are on a quest to develop a three-year-shelf-life sandwich. The Scots abandoned this after it was discovered that three-year chip butties developed scentience and demanded the right to vote.

Darsch said his sandwiches are designed to be as resilient as the troops they feed. "This bad boy will last a minimum of three years at 80 degrees, six months at 100 degrees. They will travel to the swampiest swamp, the highest mountain, the most arid desert."

Some of the stabilizing agents are manufactured, others are intrinsic to the sandwiches – the bread in the pepperoni sandwich is more or less left alone by the sausage, which lacks moisture; in the barbecue chicken sandwich, acids in the sauce's tomato, vinegar and lemon naturally bind moisture in place.

Still, soldiers aren't likely to take a bite until 2006 because more research is needed – principally, the researchers confessed, on PB&J, the sandwich most demanded by troops in focus groups. Other sandwiches in the works include pizza-flavored and ham and cheese.

Food science takes time, Darsch said – "I don't even want to tell you how long it took to develop the McNugget."