Yes, the classic American meal-on-the-go is wrapped in bread, smeared with condiments and eaten as a patriotic alternative to, say, a hamburger.
But a hot dog is not a sandwich, according to an official press release from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
According to the council, “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.”
Well, hot dog!
“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.’ Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category (no disrespect to Reubens and others), but that time has passed,” NHDSC president and ‘Queen of Wien’ Janet Riley says in the release. (Yes, “Queen of Wien” is a thing, apparently.)
“We therefore choose to take a cue from a great performer and declare our namesake be a ‘hot dog formerly known as a sandwich,'” she continues.
The NHDSC says it came to its decision after noting the hot dog’s impact on American history as well as the “open” nature of a hot dog in a bun, a USDA-governed nuance.
The release acknowledges that the issue has escalated, becoming a deep “philosophical divide” that came to heads on the Today show, ESPN’s Sportscenter, in NFL locker room, with Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, and most importantly in an inspiring pro-sandwich rant from For The Win‘s Ted Berg. (We’re really sorry, Ted.)
As consolation for those pro-sandwichers out there, check out this USA TODAY Travel list of America’s best hot dogs. And perhaps pass over this story about hot dogs and other processed meats being tied to cancer.
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