Which “Wich” is Which?

What makes a sandwich a sandwich? Is it the bread or the filling? Or both?



The definition of a sandwich is much more complicated than you might think.

Connor Davis, Columnist

In times like these, people need to be asking the right questions that will affect the future of the world. Specifically, what constitutes something as a sandwich- possibly a more important question than who is in charge. The question on everyone’s mind is; “What makes something a sandwich?” (Related: learn to make a classic, controversy-less veggie sandwich).

The debate has raged for years, and some have said that hot dogs make the cut, while others disagree, countering that if that is the case, then other food items such as tacos and burritos could also fit the classification. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had a definition for a while, but has since been changed, according to Fooda. The old definition stated that it was two slices of bread with meat, cheese, and some kind of sauce in between them. The problem with that is sandwiches like the famous PB&J and grilled cheese don’t count, as neither contain meat. 

Recently, however, some revisions have been made to the definition of sandwich by Merriam-Webster. This new definition states that “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between” and “one slice of bread covered with food” counts as a sandwich, meaning that grilled cheese fans got the justice they deserved, and surprisingly, as did the fans of tacos and hot dogs.

For convenience, here’s a list of foods that are technically sandwiches:

  • Hot dogs: although only having one slice of bread, it is split faced with a meat filling.
  • Pizza: the crust is bread, and is covered in sauce and other toppings, so pizza is absolutely a sandwich.
  • Gyros: burritos don’t make the cut but gyros sure do, as they are open faced.
  • Some cannoli: If it’s open faced, it doesn’t matter what the filling is- it is a sandwich.