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What Is a Sandwich?

What is a sandwich actually?

That's an obvious question, right?

This is a sandwich.

This is a sandwich.

This is a sandwich.

But this is also a sandwich

and so is this.

But what about a hot dog?

What about a taco, or a pita,

or an open-face sandwich?

What about the crazy ramen burger?

Everyone these days has an opinion,

but no one can agree.

Sandwiches used to be so simple.

They're named for the Earl of Sandwich

who ate his meat between two pieces of bread

to make a portable meal.

But the definition of the sandwich

keeps getting more complicated.

Even the dictionary is confused

about what a sandwich is.

Here's the problem:

the definition of a sandwich affects

our tax codes and health regulations.

New York state taxes burritos as sandwiches.

But in a 2006 lawsuit involving Qdoba and Panera,

a judge ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich.

Basically, it's chaos.

So we sat down and came up with a new definition

and we think it can solve this problem once and for all.

A sandwich must:

First, consist of two exterior pieces that

are separate or mostly separate.

Those pieces must be primarily carbohydrate-based,

so made of bread or bread-like products.

Oh, and the filling of the sandwich,

it can be anything you want,

but it can't just be a condiment;

The whole concoction must have

a primarily horizontal orientation;

And finally, the whole thing must be portable.

So under this definition, a hamburger is a sandwich.

So is a pita, and a s'more, and an ice-cream sandwich,

so is a ramen burger,

and so is a crazy donut chicken thing.

But under this definition, a hot dog is not a sandwich

because of its vertical orientation.

An open face thing?

Nope, not actually a sandwich.

You know what else isn't a sandwich?

A burrito.

But the point is: so many things can be sandwiches

with this definition.

You can have a banana sandwich,

you can have a cheese doodle sandwich,

you can have a sandwich sandwich.

Yes, the sandwich innovation has just begun.