Debate of the Issue: Is a Hotdog a sandwich?

Debate of the Issue: Is a Hotdog a sandwich? 

YES: (Tolkoff)

Intellectuals such as Einstein, Confucius, and Nikola Tesla have been debating one thing throughout history, and that is whether a hot dog is a sandwich. While people may tell you it is not a sandwich, I am here to persuade you otherwise. This debate entirely revolves around the question of what constitutes a sandwich. For me, it is meat, vegetables, or other fillings enclosed in bread with an opening.

 So does a hot dog fit this description? A hotdog has meat and is enclosed in bread, thus making it a sandwich. Some claim that there must be two distinct pieces of bread, however does that make a sub not a sandwich? I would still consider a sub to be a sandwich even though it only is one slice of bread. 

So I have modified my definition to something enclosed in bread with an opening. That last part, with an opening, is also integral to the definition of a sandwich. Without this section a calzone would be a sandwich or even a wrap. Now for the most subjective part of the definition, the inside of a sandwich. Some people say that a sandwich must have meat in it, although one of my favorite sandwiches (eggplant parm) does not have meat although it is still a sandwich. Also different sauces or condiments do not need to be added in order for it to be a sandwich. If a BLT does not have mayo or mustard is it still a sandwich? Yes it is.

 And the argument that a hot dog only has one substance and therefore is not a sandwich is complete confluffery. Does that make a peanut butter sandwich not a sandwich or a grilled cheese? That is simply blasphemous: to disqualify staples of the culinary industry from the category of sandwiches is dishonest to culinary experts around the world.  

NO: (Luke Trevisan)

What is a hot dog? Is it a sandwich? Is it something else? These questions have been asked since the dawn of time but have only started to make sense since the creation of the hot dog. The creation of the food and the coining of the name are typically given two separate dates. The original hot dog was first sold in 1871 by Charles Feltman and was thought of as a skinny “frankfurter”. Afterwards, the term was supposedly coined in 1901, at the New York Polo Grounds. Since then it has remained a staple in backyards and ballparks.

Now we come to the question: is it a sandwich? I say no, for two reasons. First of all a hotdog does not have nearly enough substance to be a sandwich. A “sandwich” should have at least two distinctly different and filling substances that both add to the taste and texture of the sandwich. A turkey sandwich? Turkey and cheese. A BLT? Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato. A hot dog only ever has ketchup, mustard, or other things relish or onions, all of which are not filling (if you somehow eat enough of any to be full, you’re a monster). Therefore, a hot dog does not meet the criteria for a sandwich.

Second, a problem lies in the cookery around the hot dog: the bread. A hot dog only has one (1) piece of bread, whereas a sandwich has two (2). If you’ve passed Pre-Algebra, sorry 7th graders, you’d know that 1 < 2. So how can a hot dog equal a sandwich if mathematics deem them different? I don’t see how it could be true.

All of this debate begs the question as to what a hot dog really is. If it’s not not a sandwich, what is it? Could it be that it falls into a pre-existing category that has yet to be brought up? Based on my reasoning above, a hot dog could be considered a toast, since there is only one piece of bread. But it could also be a taco, since it is surrounded by three sides of starch. However, those are debates for another time. To answer this question, a hot dog is NOT a sandwich.


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