Debate: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Jared Serre, Assistant Editor

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A hot dog is not a sandwich. It’s called a hot dog so it’s a hot dog. It’s pretty simple.”

— Serena Williams, professional tennis player (via reddit ama)

Hot dogs. They’re part of American culture. To many, a cookout without hot dogs is not a cookout (we’ll discuss that another day).

Since the beginning of time, or the late 1800s, there have been many a discussion to answer the age old question: is a hot dog a sandwich?

According to the New York state department of taxation and finance, a hot dog is a sandwich, as well as “sausages on buns, rolls, etc.” However, Mayfield High School feels otherwise.

If in fact I had a hot dog bun and I put some turkey in between that, that would be considered a turkey sandwich on bun. So, help me understand how a hot dog—which is meat, like turkey—put in between two pieces of bread—whether it’s a bun, whether it’s french bread, whether it’s some kind of dinner roll— is not defined as a sandwich. Explain that to me.”

— James Brown, sportscaster (via reddit ama)

In a poll conducted of 40 students and faculty of MHS, only 12 (30%) felt that a hot dog was a sandwich.

Spanish teacher and meat eater Phillip Deaton said, “I guess with the criteria it would be. It’s meat between bread. That’s what a sandwich is.”

Browns OT Mitchell Schwartz's take on the debate.

Jared Serre
Browns OT Mitchell Schwartz’s take on the debate.

In addition to Mayfielders, Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz was in favor of classifying a hot dog as a sandwich.

“By definition, yes,” Schwartz said. “Meat between two buns is a sandwich.”

On the other hand, 70% of the polled, good for 28 people, say that a hot dog is not in fact a sandwich, rather being its own thing.

“A hot dog is indeed not a sandwich,” sophomore and enjoyer of ballpark foods Will Strasshoffer said. “ A hot dog is horizontal. It’s not vertical. It’s not stacking but rather going between.”

“No. It is not between two pieces of bread. It is more lodged into one piece of bread,” sophomore Michael Graziano said.

Math teacher Daniel Sheppard augmented the argument by explaining that the uniqueness of a hot dog prevents it from falling into the same category as other finger foods.

“If it was a sandwich, it wouldn’t have its own name. It’s a hot dog. You say ‘Do you want a turkey sandwich? Do you want a ham sandwich?’ You don’t say ‘Do you want a hot dog sandwich?'”

According to freshman Justin Malatesta, however, the classification of a hot dog is irrelevant.

“As long as you get to eat it, you don’t really care what it is,” Malatesta said.


No. A sandwich is supposed to be better tasting.”

— Stephen Shirey, Math teacher

A hot dog is not—it’s a hot dog! If it was a sandwich, they’d call it a dog sandwich or a hot sandwich. It’s like a long snapper and a kicker—different!””

— Trey Wingo, ESPN analyst (via reddit ama)

No. It is not between two pieces of bread. It is more lodged into one piece of bread.”

— Michael Graziano, sophomore

Is a hot dog considered multiple pieces of meat or one piece of meat?”

— James Anderson, NFL linebacker (via reddit ama)

No. It’s a hot dog.”

— Michael Verdi, Science teacher

No. A sandwich is not closed on both sides. A hot dog is open on one side and not the other.”

— Spencer Green, sophomore

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