Let’s take a break from arguing about politics to address something, er, meatier – like is a hot dog a sandwich?
This question surfaces and resurfaces all the time, and it turns out people are frank (ahem) and opinionated on the matter.
"A hot dog is not a sandwich. It’s simply a hot dog," says Mazen Muna, owner of five Dogg Haus eateries. "Just like a taco, a burger and a burrito – which all have a bread of some sort and a meat filling – they also have their own characteristics which keep them in their own category."
OnMilwaukee food writer Lori Fredrich, however, is a firm believer that a hot dog is a sandwich.
"By definition, a sandwich is two pieces of bread or a split roll with fillings," says Fredrich. "I don’t, however, think a burrito is a sandwich."
The argument goes both ways. On the one hand, hot dogs, like many sandwiches, are processed protein between processed carbohydrates. However, hot dogs are shaped differently – tubular instead of square – and the position of the hands when eating a hot dog is different from when eating a sandwich.
It’s also rare to never that we’d call a hot dog a sandwich in casual conversation. And yet …
In 2016, Merriam-Webster – the producers of the "most trustworthy dictionary and thesaurus of American English" – declared, like Fredrich, that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich.
However, The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, this exists) issued an official press release in 2015 expressing that "a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off’ and even an emoji. It is truly a category onto its own."
However, Muna takes it a step further to define why hot dogs are different. He says the word evokes nostalgia and deserves to stand alone in a separate spotlight.
"The name is part of the joy of this product that we all grew up with as kids. A hot dog at a ball game has a sense of nostalgic memory, whereas a cold turkey sub does not," says Muna.
Since we haven't solved this wiener wrangle yet, it's probably too soon to ask if a bratwurst is a sandwich, right?
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.