Alton Brown's hot dog tweet is causing quite a stir

Alton Brown recently sent a tweet out into the Twitterverse from his iPhone that the celebrity chef undoubtedly knew was playing with fire. But there are some battles that must be waged. "Oh, and once and for all: a hotdog sure as s__t is a sandwich," wrote Brown. So began the outrage, the adulation, the incredulity, and the appreciation. 

If you're an avid follower of the "is a hotdog a sandwich?" debate, you're scratching your head right now. Brown's tweet was more than just an invitation to start the food debate of the century in the Twitterverse. He was converting. Back in March 2018, when chef Alex Guarnaschelli tweeted that "a hot dog is a sandwich," Brown tweeted back, "A hotdog is a taco." Two years later and he's changed his tune. As Brown wrote in a follow-up tweet, "tacos are tacos and are deserving of their own culinary category." We won't argue with that, Alton Brown. But back to hot dogs ...

What really is a sandwich, and does a hot dog count?

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council weighed in on the debate back in 2015. "Limiting the hot dog's significance by saying it's 'just a sandwich' is like calling the Dalai Lama 'just a guy,'" it maintains. Yes, hot dogs are culturally significant. We can't help but point out, however, that The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council avoided addressing the technicalities that could put hot dogs solidly in the sandwich territory. 

As far as we can tell, the is-a-hot-dog-technically-a-sandwich debate revolves around bread. Can a sandwich be open-faced?  Must it include two slices of bread and be open on all sides?  In 2018, The Takeout conducted a five-month survey of people-in-the-know. Stunningly, only 26.5 percent believed that hotdogs fit into the sandwich category. 

Well, next Alton Brown tweeted his own definition of a sandwich for all of us to shout about. According to Brown, a sandwich is "any food designed to be conveyed to the mouth by fingers whereby the food and fingers are separated by leavened bread which directly juxtaposes at least two sides of the filling and is consumed along with the filling." Do you buy it? If so, case solved. Hot dogs are undoubtedly in.