By: Anthony Santino
“Is a hot dog a sandwich?” A classic question, a classic debate, and I’m glad we’ve brought it up.
When you go to a baseball game—be it little league, high school, the major leagues or any level really—you’ll probably find a hot dog stand.
An American classic (inspired by similar variations from Germany or Austria (it’s still debatable where the sausage originated) called the “frankfurter,”) the hot dog is a symbol of pastimes, good energy, friends sharing quality moments together and more.
A simple combination of wiener on bun, perhaps with a condiment or five, the hot dog is a staple of American finger food at worst, and an elite member of its ranks at best.
To get down to the business end of this topic, let’s explore the debate of it all. “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” To that, I say no.
For me, the cool thing about the hot dog is that it lives in a league of its own. Hamburgers are definitely in the same class, but the two have different styles; they don’t hang out at lunch.
Although a similar concept with being on a set of buns and having condiment potential, burgers are closer to a traditional sandwich in my eyes.
I think the hot dog shouldn’t be considered a sandwich because it looks so much different than every other sandwich out there. A single bun—one so thick—with a tubular meat inside that isn’t sliced thin? The appearance alone is good enough grounds to not have to call a hot dog a sandwich.
Another reason I give the hot dog the distinction of not being a sandwich and rather having its very own category is that I like individuality. I appreciate a food item going out there every day and proving itself as a standout.
Yes, the hot dog is basically a sausage on a bun, but that’s the point: it’s on a bun. Sausages get thrown on buns all the time (street fairs, food vendors in ballparks, etc.) but not like a traditional hotdog. Hot dogs enter a bun with swagger. They rest there like an elderly man who’s in good health and has many accomplishments under his belt.
And hot dogs just taste different than any other sausage. Your average sausage has that zesty, mixed-up impression on the palette, whereas the typical hotdog comes with a slightly different texture and a porkier taste. (Guy Fieri should be texting me any minute to fill that copywriter position.)
To be honest, when I go to a sporting event, I’m definitely more of a cheeseburger guy. They might cost me about $12 dollars at a Mets game, but those Pat LaFrieda burgers are just so good.
Even so, I appreciate a good hot dog too; especially from places like Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield. The hot dogs at that place are immaculate. (I recommend some Cincinnati chili action for the best experience.)
Lastly, since I’ve already established the hot dog as a non-sandwich, I’ll share my favorite kinds of hot dogs—as far as combinations of condiments go. My go-to is a hot dog with a thin strip of ketchup and mustard. Chili dogs are my second favorite, and the ones with those saucy red onions are a super close third.
In conclusion, hot dogs are not sandwiches. They are hot dogs, they are great and I hope you don’t call them sandwiches.