The Hot Dog Debate

by Hanna Keyerleber

Many great debates have peppered the history of the United States of America since its early years in the late 18th century. From the Hamilton-Burr duel of 1804 to the present debate of whether the Illuminati is a legitimate organization, there has always been a high-caliber argument troubling this nation. Today is no exception.

Ever since its inaugural appearance on a New York street corner in 1906, hotdogs have been the source of a widespread debate: should the hotdog be considered a sandwich or its own separate entity? Some argue that it should be classified as a sandwich due to its defining characteristic of meat surrounded by bread. On the other hand, others defend the hot dog’s title, claiming that its open-meat characteristics put it above its competitors. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a confusing definition, dodging the difficult question with vague statements on the legitimacy of the sausage and bun combination.

With all of this conflict, the need for an official ruling became apparent. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSA) has released an official statement declaring “…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.” As the debate stands now, hot dogs are not considered a sandwich.

This may be hard for some Americans to accept, however there is no reason to worry. Both sandwiches and hot dogs are probably known to cause cancer in the state of California.