A hot dog is ‘officially’ not a sandwich

A hotdog.
A hotdog.
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The British Sandwich Association has reaffirmed its stance that a hot dog is not a sandwich.

It has spoken out in response to a new article from US dictionary Merriam-Webster, which suggests that the hot dog is one by definition.

“Given that the definition of sandwich is ‘two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between’, there is no sensible way around it,” according to the dictionary’s blog post at Merriam-Webster.

But Jim Winship, the director of the British Sandwich Association, says: “We don’t consider a hot dog to be sandwich. We don’t consider burgers sandwiches either.”

Burgers: not sandwiches

The association, which is the voice of the sandwich-making industry in the UK, considers traditional sandwiches, cold wraps and, confusingly, sandwiches with warm fillings to fit their definition.

The decision to exclude hot dogs and burgers is not philosophical, Mr Winship said, but is simply a choice that the association has made.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council in the United States’ policy is that, while a hot dog could have historically have fit into the sandwich category, it has now outgrown it.

“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy’,” it stated in an article on its own website at http://www.hot-dog.org/culture/hot-dog-sandwich.

The debate has been surprisingly heated in recent years, with Fox Sports asking athletes for their opinion on the staple stadium food.

Philosophical debate

“If you ask somebody to go make you a sandwich, they’re not gonna make you a hot dog,” said Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Josh Harrison.

The Atlantic magazine stated that the hot dog was not a sandwich on the basis that it failed one of the criteria in its “grand unified theory of the sandwich” – it’s primarily vertical in orientation rather than horizontal.

Jeb Lund in the Guardian arrived at the conclusion that the hot dog – and the taco – was a sandwich, on the basis that considering it unique is a convenient American denial of “a pre-existing internationalist universe of sandwiches”.

But in Britain, for now, the hot dog is officially not a sandwich.