The Great Debate: What Is a Sandwich?

Sarah Morehead has been on a mission to get atheists to weigh in on the real great debate: What is a sandwich? Is a taco a sandwich? Is a pizza a sandwich? It’s a vexing question that kept us all up at night after being asked about it. Amanda Knief seems particularly thoughtful and insightful. Here’s the video:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cuttlefish

    The folks at “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” have a “Sandwich Monday” blog series, which has a definition of “sandwich” broad enough to include many nontraditional food items. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/162947372/sandwich-monday

  • Abby Normal

    I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description “sandwich”; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the taco is not that.

  • mmfwmc

    The really interesting question is which is the most important byproduct of gambling: probability theory, or the sandwich?

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    A sandwich is two pieces of bread with something between.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    A Sandwich is a small town in Kent or else an English earl. I thought everyone knew that!

  • Kevin Kehres

    Duh…a sammich is something the woman makes for the man. Preferably while barefoot and pregnant.

  • dingojack

    Or islands, don’t forget the islands.

    Dingo

  • Alverant

    Kevin, what qualifies as “bread”, if I stick some meat and cheese between two crackers, does that count? How about if take one slice of bread and put peanut butter on one half and jelly on the other and fold it over? Or if I replace the peanut butter and jelly with a brat and sauerkraut?

  • dingojack

    No, because crackers are biscuits, twice baked.

    Dingo

  • sh3baproject

    @4 you know so little >:(

    @2 a taco is a sandwhich. do i need to explain this?

  • dmcclean

    Well done, Abby @2.

  • dingojack

    Besides bread hardens when stale (as apposed to crackers and tacos) therefore bread is a cake (1:40)*.

    :) Dingo

    ———–

    * for tax purposes

  • Chiroptera

    I still remember when I was young (maybe even a teen) when I first heard a hamburger classes as a sandwich. I dunno why, but that still sounds wrong to me.

    On the other hand, trying to define “sandwich” in such a way that excludes hamburgers always results in something so contrived that it’s even more wrong.

    Is a hot dog a sandwich?

    This is similar to a discussion we sometimes have at lunch, where we try to figure out when a “pizza” is no longer truly a pizza.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mmiecielica michael kellymiecielica

    I gave up looking for necessary and sufficient conditions for definitions years ago, virtually no word has them. nominalism for the win people.

    What’s the difference between a sofa and couch?

  • freehand

    What’s the difference between a sofa and couch?

    .

    Sofa Loren was a famous actress in the 1950s and 60s, and a couch is a sea shell that some cultures have used as a type of horn.

    .

    I would think that anything that serves the purpose is a sandwich – allowing the Earl of Sandwich to continue playing cribbage while eating without using utensils. I see that Wikipedia notes that the chief rabbit of Jerusalem (circa 40 BCE) was fond of filling two pieces of matzoh with lamb and herbs, so it can be argued that unleavened bread wraps predate modern Western sandwiches. Perhaps “sandwich” is a subset of a larger category of food – those things which include a ham and cheese, a taco, and a wrap, but not all of which are sandwiches. But if so, what should the superset be called?

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Alverant:

    Crackers aren’t bread.

    Folding one piece of bread over doesn’t make two pieces. It’s still one piece of bread. (Now if you tear it… that’s another story.)

    A single piece of bread with stuff on top is a tartine.

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @freehand:

    Finger-food.

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @chiroptera:

    A hot dog could be a sandwich, if the bun tears so you have two pieces of bun around the dog.

    Until then, it’s a hot dog in a bun. (See also: hoagie, cheesesteak, usw. Fie to people who call a hoagie a sandwich.)

  • dingojack

    Kevin – if you smoke it is it a hoagie stogie? (short, but not too big around).

    😀 Dingo

  • infraredeyes

    Massachusetts Judge Rules Burrito is not a Sandwich.

    Panera Bread wanted to exclude a burrito shop from a mall where they had been promised the exclusive right to sell sandwiches.

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @dingojack:

    I’d like to see you try to smoke a hoagie.

  • dingojack

    Kevin — First I like to see you eat a stogie….

    :) Dingo

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @dingojack:

    Ewww…

  • Rick Pikul

    I see the myth about the Earl of Sandwich is still going strong.

    Not the one about the idea of putting meat between two slices of bread, but the one about him doing it because he wanted to eat and gamble at the same time. I guess it sounds better than talking about how he really wanted something he could eat while putting in long hours at Parliament.

  • Chiroptera

    Does adding croutons to a salad make it a sandwich?

  • Abby Normal

    infraredeyes @20

    Due to the random capitalization I first though there was judge named Rules Burrito. I was thinking, of course a person isn’t a sandwich.

  • Trebuchet

    We really need Comradde Physioproffe to weigh in on what is a proper sandwiche. And make us one.

  • Alverant

    #16

    Why aren’t crackers considered bread? Both are made of wheat. Both are baked. Both are considered bread in the food pyramid. Also why can’t you fold a piece of bread in half and call it a sandwich? My Dad used to make peanut butter sandwiches that way when I was young.

    #24

    No because the bread doesn’t cover enough of the insides and it can’t be held in your hands. Sandwiches need to be hand-held.

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @alverant:

    Crackers are not made in the same way as bread. Cookies aren’t bread, but they’re made of wheat and baked. Crackers don’t typically rise as much as bread, and are very small.

    I don’t consider singular pieces of bread a sandwich. If you split a single piece of bread into two, then it’s a sandwich though.

  • DonDueed

    Question for the “must have two pieces of bread” crowd: is an open face sandwich not a sandwich?

  • Michael Heath

    SCOTUS Justice Potter Stewart’s description of porn seems applicable here:

    I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

    With this in mind, DonDueed writes:

    . . . is an open face sandwich not a sandwich?

    Not a sandwich but instead, an open face sandwich.

  • Cuttlefish
  • Chiroptera

    Say I’m broke so my ol’ lady, like, lays some bread on me. Am I a sandwich, man?

  • http://pandarogue.blogspot.com Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Fiancee has two requests:

    The Monte Cristo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Cristo_sandwich) and waffle sandwiches. Sandwiches, subsets of sandwiches, or their own entities.

    @Cuttlefish:

    No.

  • lochaber

    How about two pieces of bread, with a third, different type of bread inbetwixt them? (like, white, pumpernickle, white)

  • erick

    So one consecrated Eucharist cracker between two unconsecrated. Is that therefore a meat sandwich?

  • freehand

    Rick Pikul: I see the myth about the Earl of Sandwich is still going strong.

    .

    Well, if it ain’t true it oughta be.

    .

    DonDueed says: Question for the “must have two pieces of bread” crowd: is an open face sandwich not a sandwich?

    .

    I had a metaphysics professor who claimed that there were no such entities as toy guns, since “Guns aren’t toys”. I thought “It’s sad that a man can’t speak in his own native tongue.”

  • doublereed

    Nah nah, a sandwich is two things with another thing in the middle.

    A taco is not a sandwich, cause it’s one thing. If you break the taco shell straight down the cup, then it becomes a sandwich.

    To reiterate, calling a taco a sandwich is an abomination and horrible and terrible, but if you break it slightly then obviously it’s now a sandwich.

  • doublereed

    Not to be confused with a Sandvich.

  • thebookofdave

    lochaber:

    How about two pieces of bread, with a third, different type of bread inbetwixt them?

    It’s still food between two slices of bread, even though bread is one of the fillers. Sandwich.

  • Michael Heath

    doublereed writes:

    To reiterate, calling a taco a sandwich is an abomination and horrible and terrible, but if you break it slightly then obviously it’s now a sandwich.

    So a Subway sandwich with a sub bun isn’t a sandwich? Unless one slices the non-open side open?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Potter Stewart is Abby Normal’s (@#2) secret identity?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Michael Heath:

    A conundrum to which I can only reply, “DUH!”