I’ve been asked a lot lately what I consider to be a sandwich. I thought about it and even looked it up to see what the definition of a sandwich is:
Sandwich: sand·wich noun \ˈsan(d)-ˌwich, ˈsam-; dialect ˈsaŋ-\
Webster defines it as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between”
The British Sandwich Association defines a sandwich as: A form of bread with a filling, generally assembled cold- to include traditional wedge sandwiches, as well as filled rolls, baguettes, pita, bloomers, wraps, bagels and the like, but not burgers and other products assembled and consumed hot. Hot eating sandwiches are also included.
In 2006 in Massachusetts, Panera argued that a taco/quesadilla/burrito restaurant was a sandwich shop and that this Mexican fast casual establishment should not be allowed to open in the same plaza as Panera. The Superior court Judge Jeffrey Locke ruled that: “A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans.”
I agree with this ruling because in Mexico a sandwich is called a Torta not a Taco. I enjoy a good taco and they are portable but it is not a sandwich. Now you may ask what about a wrap? Is that a sandwich? To some it is- however I feel the wrap may be more part the taco/burrito family than the part of the sandwich family. Next time you’re at a restaurant look at the menu.. will it just say sandwich or will it say sandwich and wraps?
Speaking of wraps….did you know that former NY Mets/Red Sox Manager, Bobby Valentine, says he invented the wrap? He says it was served when they ran out of bread at his restaurant. However there are other stories that say the wrap came from California and was inspired by the burrito. But I’m not talking about a wrap. I am talking about Sandwiches.
To me the definition of a sandwich is 2 or more slices of bread, but not limited to (it can be cookie, brownie, waffle, donut, etc.), that has filling in between it. I think you can get creative with what your bread is. Have you ever had a jibarito? It’s a steak sandwich that has 2 flattened fried green plantains as the bread of the sandwich.
Sandwiches can be hot or cold. I also think a sandwich is something you can pick up and eat (not usually a fork and knife meal). I know that Webster also says that an open face sandwich is a sandwich however I do not consider biscuits and gravy or bruschetta a sandwich.
What is your definition of a sandwich?