What Defines a Sandwich?


Kailee Sabangan

Aren’t these all sandwiches???

Sandwiches; Universally loved by most ‘normal’ people, hated by few. They’ve been around for centuries, a mix and match of meat, sauce, and bread. Though, the debate of a food item placed between two slices of bread has been heavily argued throughout time. Now we come to the age-old question: What truly defines a sandwich?

Sandwiches go back all the way to the 1700’s, made by John Montagu to keep his clothes clean while playing a game of cards. Although not all people eat sandwiches while engaging in very serious games of cards, they’re still widely loved.

But love doesn’t stop arguments. Thus the cause of the sandwich debate: What classifies a sandwich?

Google defines a sandwich as “an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal.” However, not all sandwiches are made this way, nor does everyone egress with this statement.

A poll held between Canyon students at school from a select handful that we could gather showed that 90.9% of people believe that a sandwich does not require meat to classify as one. Which completely defies the ‘definition’, but we kept going.

Does a sandwich require condiments to be a sandwich? 63% of students said no, which is a reasonable answer. By this instant, two pieces of bread holding meat or cheese together is a sandwich, which most people feel okay with. But does it truly need to be two pieces of bread?

We asked for a list of items that classifies as a sandwich, two of the answers being a submarine sandwich and a hot dog. 91% of people said a sub is definitely a sandwich, and only 18.2% of people believed a hot dog is a sandwich. Both however, have one piece of bread that is not completely split in half.

For this argument, the majority agree that a sub is a sandwich, which would mean that sandwiches can be on a singular piece of bread split in a certain way.

Now, we have three things that define a sandwich: Sandwiches do not require meat, condiments, or two pieces of bread (with slight exceptions like toast or, sadly, hot dogs). Now we get to desserts.

54% of people say that a sandwich can be a dessert. Which would make sense, PB & J’s can be a dessert since it has jelly.

These four major points give us a very general idea and bring us closer to the concept of sandwiches. However, many exceptions exist, and these have to be accepted. More questions can be asked, like cooking sandwiches, or if hamburgers are or aren’t sandwiches and need their own category, but the general idea of a sandwich is the same throughout.

So, with everything added, here is the true and utter definition of a sandwich.

Sandwiches consist of food item(s) or sauce(s) between a piece of bread either split in half or vertically and can be eaten as a snack, meal, or dessert.