The great hot dog debate


The classification of the beloved hot dog may seem like a simple question, but as it turns out, the answer isn’t quite as cut and dry as many think.

So, where does the hot dog fit?                                                           

Is it a sandwich in the traditional sense?

Does it defy such labels, or is it a part of a separate food group entirely?

It bears looking at the history of the sandwich before delving into this philosophical debate.

In the 1760s, the 4th Earl of Sandwich needed a way to eat his food while playing cards. He didn’t want to have to leave the table or get the cards greasy, so this necessitated the creation of the modern sandwich.

His fellow nobles started ordering meat and bread ‘the same as Sandwich’, according to author N. A. M. Rodger, the Earl’s biographer. Though there is some debate on who really invented the sandwich, and there are many mentions of bread and meat in centuries before the Earl’s need, the food still bears his name.

Where does that leave the hot dog in these modern times?

It does fit the traditional definition of meat between bread but, is the literal definition enough? SAIT’s population has some conflicting ideas on the matter, and we relished the opportunity to hear from some students.

Alyssa Hopper, a first-year graphic communications and print technology student, was disturbed by the implications of the question.

Her conclusions were intuitive.

“They may technically be sandwiches, but they shouldn’t be.” She said in an interview.

Amanda Metcalfe, who is upgrading at SAIT, said she was educated on the hot dog’s status by her chef husband.

“He’s so used to me asking random questions that he answered without hesitation.”

His answer was, yes, hot dogs are indeed sandwiches.

Ryan Kheller disagreed with both of these assessments when asked.

“No way. Hot dogs are their own thing.”

He brought up the argument used by John Hodgman on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

“You wouldn’t cut it in half, so it’s not a sandwich.”

Saitsa president, Ryan Morstad, chaotically put forth an equally compelling and unique idea.

(Photo by Lexa Chambers)

“They’re really more of a wrap.”

Regardless of your thoughts on the categorization of the hot dog, the divisive debate shows little sign of a definitive solution.

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