Now Let Me Be Frank

The Pioneer takes on the most important debate of our time – is a hotdog a sandwich?

DISCLAIMER: This article is the result of Pioneer’s very first 30 Minute Content Challenge. In just a half hour, our entire team thought of the idea, heavily discussed, and then wrote it together. Hopefully, that explains its shambliness. Enjoy.

A heated debate arose at this week’s Pioneer staff meeting, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to conduct an investigation. Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Yes: Cecilia, Kayde, Molly, and Leeraz

Yes, of course, the hot dog is a sandwich. Those leading the charge in equating America’s favorite sport time snack with Subway’s signature item gave the following arguments:

  • Definition of sandwich: “An item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.” AKA a hot dog. 
  • All hot dogs are sandwiches, but not all sandwiches are hot dogs. Just like squares and rectangles. We all learned that in third grade. Right? Right.
  • If a hot dog is not a sandwich, is a meatball sub not a sandwich?
  • In the words of Takeru Kobayashi, a champion competitive hot dog eater: “A hot dog is a sandwich.”

No: Literally everyone else

No, of course the hot dog is not a sandwich. The hot dog is the hot dog. “Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.'”

Let’s think of the ways we define a sandwich. 

According to The Atlantic, to qualify as “a sandwich,” a given food product must:

  • structurally consist of two (2) exterior pieces that are either separate or mostly separate;
  • those pieces must be primarily carbohydrate-based—so, made of bread or bread-like products;
  • the whole assemblage must have a primarily horizontal orientation (so, sitting flush with a plate rather than perpendicular to it); and
  • the whole assemblage must be fundamentally portable.

Hmm, let’s see. The hot dog fits every one of these categories… oh wait. No it doesn’t.

The hot dog is not eaten horizontally and cannot be. It is not structurally a sandwich. Have you ever seen a sandwich eating contest? No.

Existentially speaking, a hot dog is still a hot dog without the bun. The bun is merely an accessory. It is not part of the integrity of the hot dog.

See the informative picture below:

If you take the hot dog apart and force it into a sandwich, it’s no longer a hot dog.

Therefore, a hot dog cannot be both a hot dog and a sandwich at the same time.

In the words of one of our producers: “If you think hot dogs are sandwiches, you’re the wurst.”


[socialpoll id=”2463538″]

Related Stories

More Like This →

About The Pioneer + HackCville

The Pioneer is the publication of HackCville. All of our producers are either current students or graduates of HackCville’s media education programs.

Our producers develop skills in modern media production through publishing stories about creative, civic, and entrepreneurial innovators in the University of Virginia and greater Charlottesville community. Learn more →

HackCville develops the skills, networks, and entrepreneurial ability of talented U.Va. students. We accelerate our students’ ideas, projects, and startups through our experiential programs and tight-knit community. More about us →

Founding Partners