Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich? There Is Actually A Legally Binding Answer To The Question Burning Up Social Media

Is a hot dog a sandwich? It turns out there is a legally binding answer to the viral question being debated on social media.

The question has lingered around for a long time. Some believe that hot dogs fit the strict definition of a sandwich, which is a piece of meat enclosed by bread. But others contend that a hot dog is nothing like a sandwich, and a hot dog bun isn’t a piece of bread.

The debate has peaked in this week, drawing plenty of attention on social media and now within the world of sports. In fact, the recent debate started in the world of sports when Atlanta Falcons beat writer Andrew Hirsh tweeted that Matt Ryan doesn’t consider a hot dog to be a sandwich.

Others have picked up on the “is a hot dog a sandwich” debate. Fox Sports noted that WKBW reporter Joe Buscaglia polled the Buffalo Bills locker room and found it split — Leodis McKelvin, Seantrel Henderson, and Boobie Dixon said they think hot dogs are sandwiches, while Jordan Gay and Bacarri Rambo do not.

Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor may have had the most enlightening answer.

Though the debate may have started within the world of sports, it has taken off on social media. There are strong opinions on both sides, but the Atlantic points out that there may be a legally binding answer to the question of whether a hot dog is a sandwich.

In an article published last year (yes, the debate has been going on for quite a while), the magazine noted that New York State’s Tax Bulletin ST-835 (TB-ST-835) defined, for tax purposes, what legally qualifies as a sandwich.

Here is the list.

  • common sandwiches, such as:
    • BLTs (bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches);
    • club sandwiches;
    • cold cut sandwiches;
    • grilled cheese sandwiches;
    • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches;
    • salad-type sandwiches (e.g., chicken, egg, ham, and tuna);
  • bagel sandwiches (served buttered or with spreads, or otherwise as a sandwich);
  • burritos;
  • cheese-steak sandwiches;
  • croissant sandwiches;
  • fish fry sandwiches;
  • flatbread sandwiches;
  • breakfast sandwiches;
  • gyros;
  • hamburgers on buns, rolls, etc.;
  • heroes, hoagies, torpedoes, grinders, submarines, and other such sandwiches;
  • hot dogs and sausages on buns, rolls, etc.;
  • melt sandwiches;
  • open-faced sandwiches;
  • panini sandwiches;
  • Reuben sandwiches; and
  • wraps and pita sandwiches.

So those on the “it is a sandwich” side of the debate can point to the legally binding answer that yes, by the definition of the state of New York, a hot dog is most definitely a sandwich. Others may contend that the state’s definition of sandwich is incredibly broad (and it’s likely that fewer people would consider a burrito a sandwich than would argue a hot dog is).

There could be questions as to what kind of food hot dogs qualify as in the first place. A recent report found that the meat, which has already been notorious for its mystery arrangement of meats, may actually contain something much more disturbing.

Clear Labs recently performed genetic testing in order to “guide consumers towards more informed grocery shopping decisions,” and found that there’s more than just chicken, pork, and beef in the ingredients. According to an Eater report, the lab found that human DNA was also found in about 2 percent of hot dogs and 3 percent had undisclosed pork, a serious issue for people with religious diet restrictions. Can a hot dog be a sandwich if it’s not entirely meat? That may be an entirely different question.

What do you think — is a hot dog a sandwich?

[Picture by Alex Wong / Getty Images]