Saturday, November 7, 2015

And the question of the week is..................

Is the hot dog a sandwich?



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On the one hand, the hot dog has many of the same characteristics as a sandwich, which Merriam Webster defines as either “one slice of bread covered with food” or “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having filling in between.” Indeed, the hot dog could slide into that first definition: It is, after all, meat and condiments on a piece of bread.

“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ ... is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy’.”

Janet Riley

Plus, its status as a sandwich has history. “When it first arrived on American shores from Europe in the late 1800s, it was often referred to as a ‘Coney Island Sandwich’ or ‘Frankfurter sandwich,’” the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, or NHDSC, notes.
But some say the hot dog deserves its own category entirely.
“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ ... is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy,” says NHDSC President Janet Riley (who, incidentally, is referred to as the “Queen of the Wein” in the email the North American Meat Institute sent MarketWatch revealing this news). “Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category (no disrespect to Reubens and others), but that time has passed.”
Taking a page from the Prince playbook, the organization now wants to call it the “hot dog formerly known as a sandwich.”
 Is the hot dog a sandwich?

51% of Males say yes it is
81% of females say no it isn't

A majority of tweens, teens and boomers say yes it is
Gen X and millennials say no

In the US 43% say yes it is a sandwich
57% say it is not

In Brazil the hot dog is not considered a sandwich

In Canada 60% say yes it is a sandwich

In Germany (this one is important) 33% say it is a sandwich  67% say no it isn't

And of the one vote cast in King's Australia .......... Yes the hot dog is a sandwich, What say you King?

Being in the food business I would have to say it could be either...... because of the definition of a sandwich and the characteristics of the total hot dog package, it is in fact a sandwich when eaten with the bun condiments etc. Eaten in beans or just cut up and partaken off the plate alone it would then just be the lowly hot dog.


  1. Who cares what it is called, hot dogs are great, especially at baseball games. By the way, the names "Frankfurter" and "Wiener" come from German town names "Frankfurt" and "Vienna or Wien" the places of origin. The difference is that, in Germany, a Wiener may contain beef while a Frankfurter must contain only pork.

  2. For me, because of my tastes, it kind of falls in that slippery slope category… I like a roast beef dinner of mashed potatoes with the roast beef copiously slathered with fresh made gravy from the drippings. Now, if you go into a lot of restaurants you will see this presented on the menu as an ‘open face’ sandwich because the beef sits on bread.

    Personally, I think the criteria of a sandwich would have to have as some part of its definition, the ability to pick it up and eat it. Now I certainly couldn’t entertain the idea of eating that roast beef that way… there is no napkin up to that task.

    The same is true for the humble hot dog… conventionally dressed I suppose it would pass as a sandwich but I love mine with more than a generous amount of chili, onions and cheese… no way you are going to pick up and hold that meal in a bun….

    1. The sandwich was named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich, but the circumstances of its invention and original use are still subject to debate. One rumor was noted in a travel book called Tour to London by Pierre Jean Grosley, the 4th Earl of Sandwich was a very conversant gambler and did not take the time to have a meal during his long hours playing at the card table, so he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread. It was a habit well known among his gambling friends. Others began to order “the same as Sandwich!” which was how the ‘sandwich’ was born.