America’s classic frank belongs in the sandwich family


The Appalachian Online

Malik Rahili

Ladies and gentlemen, The Appalachian has been in a state of disarray and on the brink of civil war over one of the hardest questions we have been asked as journalists: is a hot dog a sandwich?

This question really put us between a bun and a hard place and may instantly cause the average hot dog consumer to quickly deny the claim and denounce it. But as journalists it is our duty to present the public with cold, hard facts and leave it to the reader to interpret their wiener however they want.

To be frank, a hot dog is a sandwich any way you slice it. This Coney-Island conundrum must be looked at with an open mind and a willingness to throw away your American ideals.

But before we delve into this doghouse, we must look at the hot dog as a whole – weenie and buns included. Technically, according to Merriam-Webster, a “hot dog” is “a small cooked sausage that is mild in flavor and is usually served in a long roll (called a hot dog bun).”

If we are just looking at the sausage, then of course it is not a sandwich; you would be insane to call it one. But that is not what is on the table here. The entire dish – bread and all – is.

Now that the legal jargon is out of the way, we can get down to the beans and franks here.

According to the American Heritage Association, the definition of a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread with a filling such as meat or cheese placed between them, or a partly split long or round roll containing a filling.”

Merriam-Webster defines a sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.”

There you have it, straight from the mouths of babes.

With this definition in mind, it is obvious that a hot dog is a sandwich. It is a roll partly split down the middle with a filling inside.

A hot dog is essentially a sub, but instead of ham, turkey or salami, you have a frankfurter inside. It is the same premise and same formula.

You would not argue that hoagies, heros or subs are not a sandwiches, and a hot dog is the same thing as all of those except with a different meat and a different way of holding it.

Now, this leads us down a giant rabbit hole. Is a burger a sandwich? Absolutely.

Is cake a sandwich? Absolutely not, it is a dessert. Desserts have their own category. Is a taco a sandwich? What’s the matter with you? Of course not. It’s a wrap. But, a hot dog IS a sandwich. To say it isn’t one just doesn’t cut the mustard.

So here we are, at a fork in the road. Is a hot dog a sandwich? By definition, a hot dog is definitely a sandwich. I would never call it one though. I wouldn’t go to a ball game and say “can I get a hot dog sandwich?” because I’m not a lunatic. I would never expect a hot dog if I asked for a sandwich because in our society, they are two different dishes.

But if you break it down and look past the societal norm, we can relish the fact that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich.

Rahili, a journalism major from Durham, is the visual managing editor.

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Read the counterpoint opinion written by editor-in-chief Joshua Farmer HERE