In These 2 States Hot Dogs Are Legally Considered Sandwiches

Among the heated debates of the culinary world, everyone seems to have an opinion on whether or not a hot dog falls within the sandwich category. History has interpreted this age-old head-scratcher in numerous ways. 

Let's first consult the dictionary, shall we? According to Merriam-Webster, a sandwich is defined as "two pieces of bread with something (such as meat, peanut butter, etc.) between them." Back in 2016, the dictionary publisher daringly declared that a hot dog is, in fact, a sandwich, in a tweet that read: "Have a great #MemorialDayWeekend. The hot dog is a sandwich." The tweet linked to a blog post on the Merriam-Webster website that explained the rationale: "If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich."

However, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council does not consider a hot dog to be a sandwich. Their reasoning: "As the official voice of hot dogs and sausages, the NHDSC is primed to settle this debate once and for all, and our verdict is ... 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 unto its own" (via Mental Floss).

In California and New York, it doesn't matter which side you fall on. In those two states, hot dogs are sandwiches — it's the law.

California and New York consider hot dogs sandwiches

So, are hot dogs technically sandwiches? The short answer is ... it depends. A frankfurter nestled within a bun is, undoubtedly, meat between bread. However, the unclear interpretation has divided hot dog enthusiasts over the years. Is it because hot dog buns are typically attached at one side, therefore making it one piece of bread? Or perhaps it's simply because a frankfurter isn't traditionally sliced like lunch meats?

California has declared that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich. The Golden State's tax law mentions "hot dog and hamburger sandwiches" served at "sandwich stands or booths." And then there's New York. A bulletin outlining the Empire State's tax policy reads, "Sandwiches include cold and hot sandwiches of every kind that are prepared and ready to be eaten, whether made on bread, on bagels, on rolls, in pitas, in wraps, or otherwise, and regardless of the filling or number of layers. A sandwich can be as simple as a buttered bagel or roll, or as elaborate as a six-foot, toasted submarine sandwich" (via Mental Floss).

At the end of the day, no matter which side of the "A hot dog is a sandwich vs. A hot dog is a hot dog" aisle you sit on, we can all agree that hot dogs are amazingly delicious.