Just in time for grilling season, Mirriam-Webster has fired up the internet with their seemingly bold and outrageous claim that a hot dog qualifies as a sandwich, and people are incensed.
The word hot dog refers either to the sausage that you buy squeezed in a plastic package with 7 or so of its kind, or to the same sausage heated and served in a long split roll.
When it's served in the roll, it's also a sandwich.
We know: the idea that a hot dog is a sandwich is heresy to some of you. But given that the definition of sandwich is "two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between," there is no sensible way around it. If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich.
You could hinge your anti-hot-dog-as-sandwich argument on whether the hot dog sausage qualifies as a "filling," but if you choose to interpret filling narrowly as only "a food mixture used to fill pastry or sandwiches," rather than broadly as "something used to fill a cavity, container, or depression," then you're not going to allow any single-item filling to qualify a food item as a sandwich—which means there can be no thing as a peanut butter sandwich or a bologna (or even baloney) sandwich.
Hence, a hot dog is a sandwich.
People are pissed, my friends. The online food publication Eater is so mad, they've denounced Merriam-Webster, claiming the website has "torn its credibility asunder."
I have many stupid opinions about many stupid subjects — especially food subjects — but there are two food feuds that I have no interest in taking part in. One is what people are "allowed" to put ketchup on; the other is whether or not a hot dog is a "sandwich." Every time I try to drudge up an opinion or feeling surrounding either topic, I get bored in my own head and then I get hungry. Usually I start craving a hot dog.
There are a ton of people who don't have the luxury of not caring about this topic, and they are Tweeting madly. I could show you some of those, but my favorite reaction has been the extreme NOT CARING as expressed by my favorite anonymous food-themed Twitter account, @shitfoodblogger:
Here's the thing: I really do give a fuck about hot dogs. I love hot dogs, but I really don't care if anyone thinks they're sandwiches or not. This is strange, because I am the type of person who loves telling people that a cucumber is "technically a melon," and palms "aren't really trees, but flowering plants."
I really don't know where the lines are either.
Even though I don't care about the outcome of this particular argument, I do really enjoy watching a healthy debate, so now I must ask you: DO YOU THINK A HOT DOG IS A SANDWICH? Also feel free to bring up any other food feuds you wish to debate, like what ketchup belongs on, and whether, as a grown up, you should be free to toast your damn bagel.