Are Hot Dogs Sandwiches?
Happy National Sandwich Day! A sandwich is food put into bread, typically condiments, cheese, meat and vegetables. And fruits, if you're a stickler about what tomatoes and cucumbers technically are.
Hot dogs, brats, sausages, they are also meat put into bread, along with condiments and vegetables and cheese. So are hot dogs sandwiches?
For the answer, we can turn to the landmark court case of White City vs PR Restaurants, an actual court case from 10 years ago that went to the Massachusetts Superior Court. To sum up, the local franchise owner of a Panera Bread in a Massachusetts mall had exclusive rights to sell sandwiches in said mall. Along comes Qdoba peddling their burritos and tacos and other assorted deliciousness (for the record, Panera is also delicious). Panera said, "Noooooope. Burritos, tacos and quesadillas are sandwiches, so they have to go." And then like so, so many things, it went to court.
Judge Jeffrey Locke cited a little known, and oft forgotten text called "Webster's Dictionary" (I hope I'm spelling that right, I'll check my Oxford Dictionary to be sure), that defined "sandwich" as: "two pieces of bread with something (such as meat, peanut butter, etc.) between them." The trial even consulted chefs and culinary historians, all of whom claimed no one who knows anything about food would consider burritos, tacos or quesadillas to be sandwiches, as they are made with a single bread, in this case tortillas. The judge ruled that Panera Bread was wrong, and since they drew up the exclusivity contract, it was up to them to define a sandwich in said contract, which they never did, they have no case.
So because burritos, tacos and quesadillas aren't technically or legally sandwiches, are hot dogs? Sure they've got everything that makes a sandwich. But that bun though! It's a single piece of bread! Unless it splits open, but that's a bug, not a feature.
So at open-face value, yeah a hot dog MIGHT be a sandwich. But it more closely resembles a taco.
Wait... ARE HOT DOGS TACOS?! That's a debate for another time.