What defines a ‘wich?


March 2, 2017

In a time where fake news is becoming an epidemic, it’s hard to know what to believe. What are we to do about climate change? Will Trump ever get off of Twitter? Why did Britney Spears shave her head in 2007? Will NSync ever reunite? What really happened to Amelia Earhart? Do aliens exist? If they do exist, do they look like us? What’s up with the Mayan calendar? Where is Atlantis? Why does no one say “hip” anymore? Does God exist? Why doesn’t MTV play music these days? What ever happened to “predictability, the milkman, the paperboy, evening TV?” Most importantly, what defines a sandwich?

This broad question comes from a simpler one, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” This is a highly debatable question, but to answer this specific one, first we must define what makes a sandwich a sandwich. Once we know the answer to that, we can decide what all deserves the title of “sandwich.”

The internet provides numerous definitions for what a “sandwich” is and is not. However, how can we be sure which of these is the true sandwich? Thus, we must analyze these various definitions, picking from the most reliable sources, to come up with common phrases, words, and adjectives to define the true sandwich. For example, Google defines 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.” Webster’s dictionary defines sandwich in two key ways. The first is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” and the second is “one slice of bread covered with food.” Looking at Google’s definition of a sandwich, and Webster’s first definition of a sandwich, one immediately sees some overlap. Both of these sources agree that a sandwich is something between at least two pieces of bread, or at least split roll. However, it starts to differ from there. Webster’s second definition is a complete contradiction of its first, as it now says that a sandwich can be something on one piece of bread.

If definitions don’t help to define a true sandwich, what can? The answer to that question is James Wrigley, master of the culinary arts and winner of the 2017 Souper Bowl. When asked to define what a sandwich is, Mr. Wrigley immediately mentioned that a sandwich is defined by the bread, but he is frustrated that “it’s hard to find good bread around this town.” Wrigley claimed that “the bread makes a sandwich, but the meat-to-bread ratio makes it good or not. The bread needs to hold it in. There can’t be any sliding. That’s why I don’t like tomatoes in my sandwich.” When asked if a hot dog is a sandwich, Wrigley stated, “Any tubular meat is not a sandwich.”

Father Jason Feigh, campus minister, commented that, “A sandwich, to me, is flat. A hot dog is in a bun.” He’s not wrong.

So based on internet research and an interview with Chef James Wrigley, a sandwich is defined as an assortment of meat, vegetables, and cheeses stuffed in between two pieces of bread, and any tubed meat cannot make a sandwich.

We leave you with these wise words from James Wrigley: “Once you start getting into flatbreads… that’s just a girly sandwich.”

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