What is a Sandwich?

The eternal question that we have is what is a sandwich and where is the best one? I can not answer the location of the best sandwich but I am going to address what is a sandwich. Merriam Webster defines a sandwich as follows: (i) two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between, (ii) one slice of bread covered with food or (iii) something resembling a sandwich.

The third definition is extremely vague since it could include just about anything with a top and bottom with something in between. So I am going to ignore that clause for the time being.

Easy things included in a sandwich are items like turkey and cheese on a kaiser roll and a hot open turkey sandwich. It gets more difficult with a hamburger, a wrap filled with chicken or a hot dog. People do not typically think of hamburgers or hotdogs as sandwiches. But a hamburger is a meat between 2 pieces of bread. A hotdog is could be considered a “meat” on a split roll.

As to a wrap, it does not have 2 slices of break (or a split roll) and only a weak argument could be made that it is a slice of bread covered with food. It has a significantly different shape and presentation than a hot open sandwich. Without this definition, I would have leaned towards saying a wrap was a sandwich.

If you push it out a little further, is an order of chicken and waffles a sandwich.

It can be a piece of meat between two bread like slices (if you consider a waffle bread like). Hard to fathom. Other things that could be considered a sandwich, a quesadilla (tortilla as bread with cheese and meat inside), ice cream sandwich (it has sandwich in the title and the ice cream is dairy like cheese) and is butter on a piece of bread a sandwich (since it could be considered an open face sandwich of bread with butter which is a dairy product).

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This is a classic slippery slope argument that anything with a piece of bread could be considered a sandwich. This would result in anarchy. For the love of God, we need some reasonable structure!!

As a result, we will narrow the bread definition of a sandwich to two slices of bread or an open faced sandwich. I mean real bread, not any bread substitutes like waffles, lettuce, tortilla shells or the like.

A hotdog could be a sandwich but due to the culture significance of a hotdog, we will by executive decree deem it separate and apart from the sandwich universe.

A pinwheel or wrap are deemed as non sandwiches and will have their own categories since it has some elements of a sandwich but it had other elements not consistent with traditional sandwiches.

Whether or not something is a sandwich does not impact it tastiness. I beg everyone to try as many foods as possible but do not tarnish the good name of a sandwich by trying to include items that should be independent of what John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, wanted as his sandwich of choice.

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