Why Hot Dogs ARE and ARE NOT a Sandwich


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Alexander Jansiewicz, Staff Writer

This is a weird debate, to be sure. I bet you’re probably wondering: “Why is this even a debate in the first place?” or “AJ, you gotta be kidding me! Hot dogs aren’t sandwiches!” First of all, this is a debate because of the surrounding hot dog culture that exists. Apparently, this is still a debated question, especially among New Yorkers. Hopefully, I will be able to provide logic and reasonable analysis to this question, and hopefully, introduce some complexities (Thanks Mr. Horan for teaching me this!).

But first, one needs to define WHAT a sandwich is in order to CLASSIFY a hot dog as a sandwich or not. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” Now, what about a hot dog? A hot dog, on the other hand, is “a frankfurter with a typically mild flavor that is heated and usually served in a long split roll.” So already, by those definitions, we can see some similarities. 

So first off: the argument that the hot dog IS a sandwich. This would make sense, considering both of the definitions run along a parallel of the idea of having a roll and filling. In the hot dogs’ case, the roll serves as the carbohydrate wrap around the meaty filling of the frankfurter. By this definition, one can conclude that this is a hotdog.

However, it is also important to note the complexity of this issue. Standardly, a sandwich is two SLICES of a roll, vertically stacked so that the filling or slices of whatever is inserted between. Hot dog buns, on the other hand, are not completely sliced and remain connected. They also surround the frankfurter horizontally rather than vertically. By this analysis, a hamburger seems a much likelier candidate for a sandwich than a hot dog.

What do you think? Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know your opinion. We’d love to hear your thoughts!