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:


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.