Is a hot dog a sandwich? Hot Dog Council takes a side in heated debate on National Hot Dog Day

by 24USATVJuly 22, 2021, 1 a.m. 19
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The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) has decided to celebrate 2021’s National Hot Dog Day by dredging up a dispute that has raged between opposing factions of foodies since the dawn of the Internet: Is the hot dog a sandwich? (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – If there are two things America loves to do, it’s eat hot dogs and argue about trivial things. Lucky for us, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council are fueling both of our beloved passions on National Hot Dog Day.

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) has decided to celebrate 2021’s National Hot Dog Day by dredging up a dispute that has raged between opposing factions of foodies since the dawn of the internet: Is the hot dog a sandwich?

No, it’s not, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

The NHDSC first decided in 2015 that the humble hot dog inhabits “a category unto its own,” despite previously siding with the USDA’s vague definition of a “closed-face sandwich” that placed hot dogs in the sandwich category.

“When it first arrived on American shores from Europe in the late 1800s, it was often referred to as a ‘Coney Island Sandwich’ or ‘Frankfurter sandwich,’” the NHDSC wrote of its decision in 2015. “But much like an ‘ice cream sundae’ is simply referred to as a sundae, terminology changes.”

Now, six years later, the NHDSC is once again reiterating its stance on hot dogs — and the majority of Americans apparently are in agreement.

On Tuesday, just one day before National Hot Dog Day, the NHDSC revealed the results of a self-commissioned survey (in partnership with the Cattleman’s Beef Board and its Beef Checkoff campaign) that found that 57% of respondents agreed with the NHDSC that hot dogs are not sandwiches.

“It’s such a relief that Americans are on the same page on these key hot dog beliefs,” said NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal in a recent press release. “As we’ve said time and time (and time) again … a hot dog is NOT a sandwich. It is in a classification of its own that exceeds the sandwich category.”

It goes without saying that the NHDSC, which was established by the North American Meat Institute trade association in 1994, clearly has a dog in this fight. But that’s not to say they’re the only major mouthpiece for the meat industry. In 2018, Oscar Meyer publicly announced that hot dogs are indeed sandwiches, seemingly for no other reason than to ignite debate on Twitter.

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