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Sandwich or Faux

RWC tutor Emily Rawlings explores the history of the sandwich.

On November 3, 1718, the man who would later invent the idea of meat between sliced bread was born. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, claimed that he came up with the idea of a sandwich while gambling when he desired a convenient food that would not interrupt the continuation of his game. So, Montagu asked for two slices of toasted bread with salted beef between them, thus creating the idea of a sandwich. However, Montagu most likely derived his idea from Mediterranean cultures that used pockets of bread (pita pockets) to hold ingredients within them (Serena). Consequently, a sandwich may also be one piece of bread that has an opening in the middle. Furthermore, according to Merriam-Webster, a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” or “One slice of bread covered with food” (“Sandwich”). In celebration of the man who created sandwiches, taking into consideration the original sandwich, pita bread sandwiches, the definition of sandwiches, and/or your own personal definition, do you consider the following sandwiches or something else entirely?

According to the NHDSC (National Hot Dog and Sausage Council), “Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy’” (Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?, 2016). However, the NHDSC avoids explicitly stating that hotdogs are a sandwich, and as the authority on this subject, do you not think that it is a little suspicious? They would rather call it a “an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off’” and even more concerningly, a former sandwich (Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?, 2016). But how can something that is unchanged be known as a former sandwich and not a present sandwich? The USDA agrees and “suggests the hot dog, as meat between bread, falls into the sandwich category,” but that the very nature of a hotdog creates an ambiguous answer. What do you think; are hotdogs really sandwiches or just frauds trying to gain notoriety within the world of sandwiches instead of being satisfied with their label as street food?

Works Cited

Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich? (2016). National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

“Sandwich.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2023.

Serena, Katie. “Why Gambling Led John Montagu to Invent the Sandwich.” All That’s Interesting, May 2018,

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