A Hot-Dog Is A Sandwhich

A Controversial Take on the Age-old Debate

Danny Laney, Editorial Contributor

This year, my friends were asked a simple question in their AP English class: is a hot dog a sandwich? To which half of my passionate friends shout “No! A hot dog is not a sandwich!” and immediately began to harass me when I disagreed.

To understand why a hotdog is unequivocally a sandwich, let’s look back to the invention of the sandwich in the mid 1700’s. The Earl of Sandwich was a dude who loved to gamble, so much so that he asked his personal chef to prepare a dish that he could hold in one hand while the other was, I don’t know, holding cards or rolling dice. This brilliant cook came back with meat between toast that could easily be held with one hand. Meat, bread, portable–sound familiar? Over time, people have coined the term “sandwiching” as the process of inserting an item between two objects. For example, people sandwich hot dogs between hot dog buns. It should be as simple as that, but many people continue to disagree. Somehow Oreos are labelled as sandwiches because filling is sandwiched between the cookies, but for whatever reason there’s a stigma with calling hot dogs sandwiches.

I’ve heard arguments against this such as “the bread that holds the hot dog is connected” or “people don’t eat hot dogs like sandwiches.” So let me start by refuting the former argument. Yes, the hot dog bun holding the hot dog has a seal in between the buns. You know what else uses a seal? Go to Subway and order almost any sandwich. Pay attention to how the sandwich artist will cut the bread all the way down the middle until they reach the end, where they stop. Subs, which are undoubtedly sandwiches, typically have seals at the edge of the bread; it’s common sandwich artistry! To single out a hot dog with this remark is a biased attack.

What people like to remind me is the latter point, that “people don’t eat hot dogs like sandwiches.” Perhaps most people eat hot dogs sideways, Obama style, rather than top to bottom, Betty White style. And I may as well address The Atlantic’s argument about the hot dog conundrum, where they argue that hot dogs aren’t sandwiches since they’re served sideways. But just because people serve and eat a hot dog sideways doesn’t mean it can’t be a sandwich. Let’s compare this situation to lasagna. One cannot deny that lasagna is just a quirky type of pasta that is prepared, served, and eaten different from other pastas. Does that mean lasagna is not a pasta? I don’t think anyone is arguing that. A hot dog is a sandwich that is typically prepared, served, and eaten different from other sandwiches.

A hot dog is a sandwich. I don’t mean to use this argument as a slippery-slope to lead to “tacos are sandwiches too.” I’m not a monster. But I think people should have more of an open mindset and accept hot dogs into our sandwich-loving hearts. That way we can focus on more pressing, legitimate debates, like “Why are hot dogs so bad?”