Stuff & Nonsense

Are Hotdogs Sandwiches?

A crowdsourced analysis of this contentious issue

Following the news that the British Sandwich Association has “reaffirmed its stance that a hot dog is not a sandwich”, in defiance of Merriam-Webster’s bold declaration, I started pondering this dispute and consulted my Twitter followers with a poll.

While it immediately became clear there’d be an overwhelming victory for No, various edge cases and factions emerged in the ensuing discussion:

Inclusionists

A generous definition is applied to justify a Yes vote, with the hotdog’s combination of bread and filling being sufficient to gain it entry to a broad church.

Shapeists

The form of the bread is the crucial thing — burgers, baps and panini don’t count as sandwiches either, slices from a loaf are a requirement.

Topologists

The important aspect is that the hotdog bun is not split fully into two segments.

Orientationists

The initially-presented angle of the food is considered important, with a sandwich having bread uppermost and lowermost, unlike a hotdog bun sliced to hold its contents by the sides.

Taxonomists

The term sandwich is both a blanket term, as applied by inclusionists, but also a narrowly-defined item in line with shapeist thinking, depending on the context.

Breadxiters

Some men just want to watch the world burn


After careful consideration, my own view leans towards the taxonomists — I could happily categorise hotdogs, burgers, buns, etc as sandwiches in certain situations, but if I asked for a sandwich I would expect a filling between sliced bread.