By: Mason Hatfield ’24
The mid-July sun is beating down so hard you can hear it. The croaking haze roars, giving way only to a gentle breeze and the sizzling of the grill. Minutes later, a still-crackling hot dog is placed on a bun and served. We have all had a hotdog at one point or another, and we have all had a sandwich at one point or another. Both hotdogs and sandwiches have been around for centuries, and hundreds of thousands of people have sunk their teeth into each numerous times. With their long and intertwining history, the question of what exactly is a hotdog has arisen. Is a hot dog a sandwich? After some extensive research and continuous in-depth thought, I have come to the conclusion that a hotdog is in fact a sandwich.
I know this conclusion may upset some people. If you look at the cold hard facts and set aside personal opinions, you will come to the same conclusion. I was once on the not-a-sandwich side and firmly believed that sandwiches and hotdogs were completely separate beings. One defining factor set this sword in stone for me; a sandwich requires two slices of bread. Then came along something that would pull that sword from the stone; subs. I’m sure you’ve been to a Subway sandwich shop. Subway sandwiches are undoubtedly sandwiches, right? Well, they have only one piece of bread, with a singular slice that gets stuffed with meat and whatever else you want. That sounds familiar. That sounds like a hotdog.
This astonishing revelation got me thinking, if we count subs and sandwiches then we have to count hot dogs, right? I needed an answer to this question so I did some research. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a sandwich is “a meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun, or a biscuit.” With this definition, both hotdogs and subs can be considered sandwiches, finally settling the “beef” between Team Sandwich and Team Not a Sandwich.
After unquantifiable amounts of research and thinking, I have come to the conclusion that a hotdog is undoubtedly a sandwich. The x-factor to this conversation is subs, if I never realized subs and hotdogs are eerily similar I never would’ve been enlightened to the sandwichness of hotdogs. Subs catalyzed hotdogs into the sandwich category.