While the origination of the hot dog is widely contested, ranging from Bavarian immigrants at the 1904 St Louis World's Fair to German immigrants on Coney Island in the late 1800s to Emperor Nero's personal chef and even all the way back to the Odyssey, the answer to whether they're a sandwich is unquestionable.
It is an emphatic, conclusive, unquestionable, exhaustive YES.
A hot dog is meat, condiments, and occasionally cheese and toppings on some kind of bread (see right). That, my friends, is a sandwich.
But still, people want to argue. They want to debate. They think they can step to a man who has literally devoted his life to sandwiches and convince him that something is clearly a sandwich somehow is not a sandwich.
I don't know, some people just like to be made a fool of.
In the interest of not having to embarrass people over and over again, I'm finally writing this down. The next time someone comes at me with dumb questions, I'm going to look up from my hot dog (I am always eating a hot dog when someone asks me dumb questions, it's an incredibly bizarre coincidence), glare at them with judgement and anger for having interrupted me while I was eating, then look back down and finish my hot dog.
After I'm done and my mouth is clear enough that I can speak (because I'm not an animal), I am going to point that person in the direction of this article. They will read it, and they will still argue, because some people are just aggravating. But the point will remain:
Hot dogs are sandwiches.
"But there's no bread on top! Sandwiches have to have bread on top, and a hot dog's bread is on the sides."
First off, that's ridiculous. If I take a hard shell taco and break off the right half of the taco shell, it's still a taco. It might be a very messy taco, but it's still a taco. Whether or not the bread item is on the top or the bottom or the right or the left or one side or both sides or three sides or whatever doesn't matter.
Second off, consider the burger, turkey club, grilled cheese, BLT, or other sandwich with ~bread on top~. Pick one up — you are free to simply imagine yourself picking one up if you do not have constant, 24-hour access to hamburgers like I do — and turn it sideways, so that the bread is on the left and the right sides of the burger, as opposed to the top and bottom. Congratulations! By your logic, you've invented a new form of food.
"OK, fine, but it's still only one piece of bread."
There is nothing about a sandwich that necessitates two pieces of bread.
"WHAT?! You're crazy, there's-"
Meat. Ball. Sub. Meatballs covered in tomato sauce with some melted mozzarella lovingly cushioned in a big fat bready bun. A big, fat, one-piece-of-bread bready bun.
"Well... OK, that's a sandwich, but-"
Sausage, pepper, and onions.
"What are you talking about? Stop just barking food names at me."
Ever been to a street fair in New York or Northern NJ? You can't walk a block without running into an Italian street vendor serving up a wonderfully greasy sub roll full of sausage, peppers, and onions. A roll that is notably one single, unbroken piece of bread.
"It's not real meat, though!"
A. Yes it is. It may not be meat you're accustomed to eating, and it may not all be the same kind of meat, but it's most certainly meat.
B. If you think something must have "real meat" on it in order to be a sandwich, then I know a veritable legion of vegetarian sandwich lovers who would like a word with you.
"Listen, a sandwich is meat, cheese, condiments, and toppings between two slices of bread. A hot dog just isn't a sandwich."
Of all the small-minded, reactionary... Grilled cheese, turkey club, BLT, bologna and cheese. All are unquestionably sandwiches, but none fit that definition.
Maybe the food category of "sandwich" is too big to fit some binary, yes or no definition. Maybe it's not so black and white. Maybe sandwiches instead exist along a scale. Maybe "sandwichness" is relative.
Maybe I'm the Alfred Kinsey of sandwiches.
Maybe everything is a sandwich.
At the very least, a hot dog sure as hell is.
Disagree? Want to come at me? You're still wrong, but I welcome the intellectual exercise.
Sound off in the comments below.