What’s the definition of a sandwich? It depends on who you ask. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a sandwich as having a “meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun, or a biscuit,” but certainly doesn’t discount an all-cheese, egg, vegetable, or other filling. (They consider a burrito “sandwich-like.”) The state of California’s tax law defines both hot dogs and hamburgers as sandwiches. Merriam-Webster, which is in the business of defining things, has declared that a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” or “one slice of bread covered in food.”
Despite controversy over whether hot dogs should be considered a sandwich (Ruth Bader Ginsburg has even weighed in on the matter), the one constant is that bread is involved. But the food merchants at Jimmy Dean are looking to change that. In acknowledgment of National Sandwich Day on November 3, the company has announced that it’s petitioning Merriam-Webster to change its definition to include breadless options.
“From lunch meat sandwiched between lettuce to sausage and cheese between eggs, people are seeking more ’breadless’ options, and Jimmy Dean believes it's time the definition of sandwich is updated to represent how people are eating today,” the company stated in a press release. They’ve also set up a Change.org petition so that breadless sandwich lovers everywhere can help them lobby for the revised standard, calling the existing definition “stale.”
Not coincidentally, Jimmy Dean is also rolling out the Egg’wich, a new bread-free breakfast item featuring “savory meats and cheeses” situated between two egg frittatas.
With keto diets, paleo diets, and other low- or no-carb eating habits continuing to grow in popularity, it might be time to consider revising the sandwich definition with some kind of official declaration. Until then, Jimmy Dean is taking the bold step of proclaiming the Egg’wich a “sandwich” on the product label.
In the meantime, you can ponder whether pizza counts as a sandwich.