Staying true to the sandwich’s original form requires sacrifice


The Appalachian Online

Joshua Farmer

This article is a counterpoint written in response to an opinion by visual managing editor Malik Rahili. His original piece can be read HERE

No, it’s a sausage.

My colleague, Malik Rahili has offered an answer loaded with more questionable material than the hot dog itself.

He argues that a hot dog is a sandwich because it is “a small, cooked sausage usually served on a long roll,” according to Merriam-Webster, and that the bun is what makes this distinction accurate. But, just because you might expect a hot dog to be served on a bun does not require that the bun be present for the link to be christened a hot dog.

To the same point, I have a bone to pick with two modifiers in the Merriam-Webster definition. Why does the dictionary require a hot dog to be small? What of a foot-long hot dog? And why cooked? What of an uncooked hot dog? I digress…

Let’s move more to the purview in which my opponent is arguing. Put a hot dog in a bun. Is that a sandwich?

No, and to understand why, we have to look at what a sandwich is. Malik has relied on an appeal to authority, a logical fallacy and improper argumentation. He has presented definitions put forth by respected dictionaries, but ignored what a sandwich is at the most basic understanding.

Let’s look at the history. The fourth earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, is said to have asked his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. This allowed him to continue to play cards while eating without a fork and without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands.

Others began to order the same as Sandwich. And so, the sandwich was born.

Now, the hot dog. The earliest reference to a hot dog comes from Germany, where the “little-dog” or “dachshund” sausages may have been invented (Vienna makes their own claim to the genesis of this long meaty creation). This furthers the argument that a hot dog is simply a sausage. Though, Germans did traditionally serve a hot dog on a milk roll.

But, looking back to the original form of a sandwich, we see we have to define it as two pieces of bread with meat between them. And, while a hot dog is meat, a hot dog bun is only one piece of bread.

This definition satisfies questions my opponent’s does not. Hot dogs, layer cakes and tacos do not fall under the category of sandwiches, and now, we have a definitive answer as to why instead of just saying ‘because Malik said so.’

However, accepting this definition requires certain sacrifices. Subs, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and other meatless options have to be excluded from the sandwich’s dominion.

They are simply chalked up as bastardizations of the original sandwich, much like fro- zen yogurt or custard is not ice cream.

Farmer, a journalism major from Cary is the editor-in- chief.

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