You may think you know what a sandwich is, but the wiener experts over at Oscar Mayer are here to tell you otherwise. As Thrillist reports, the company has boldly declared that hot dogs are sandwiches, knowing that they’ll take a lot of flak for that statement.
It’s a controversial opinion, but it’s one that many people feel strongly about. “All over America, the argument about whether a hot dog is a sandwich is raging, and our Oscar Mayer offices are no different," Gregory Guidotti, Oscar Mayer's head of marketing, told Food & Wine in 2017. "I personally believe a hot dog is a sandwich, because of the dictionary definition."
Let’s be frank: We may not like to think of hot dogs as sandwiches, but it’s hard to argue with the definition. Merriam-Webster defines a sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” and hot dogs certainly fit the description.
Jimmy Dean also has a stake in the outcome of this argument. It wants Merriam-Webster to amend its definition so that its breadless breakfast products (like the egg’wich) can also be considered sandwiches. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg has weighed in on the matter, arguing that hot dogs are, in fact, sandwiches—at least according to the definition given to her.
Oscar Mayer is so confident in its decision that it created a hotline (1-833-SNDWICH) for people to call in and attempt to change their minds. It was only open for 24 hours, but it’s still partially active as of the morning of November 2. A recorded message says “the time to change our mind is up,” but it still invites callers to leave messages, which may be used anonymously for marketing materials. Some of the messages have already been shared on Oscar Mayer's Twitter.
Of course, the conversation isn’t all about semantics. As Guidotti admitted in 2017, the interaction with potential customers over whether or not hot dogs are sandwiches is simply a “good sales strategy.”