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 grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.