Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
There is a lot to learn about the 5 types of sandwiches out there. There are also different opinions regarding the nature of this kind of food product. It is still a matter of dispute as to what constitutes a sandwich. However, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a sandwich is defined as:
- Two or more slices of bread, or a split roll with a filling between
- One slice of bread covered with food
This definition reveals that there are only two types: a regular sandwich and an open-face sandwich. According to the Oxford Encyclopedia, on the other hand, wraps were a new type of sandwich that became popular in the United States during the 1990s. Is wrap considered a sandwich? What about a hotdog? And why is it important?
Classification of Sandwiches
You might not realize it, but what classifies as sandwiches can have real-world legal consequences if you work in the food industry. Sandwiches are subject to tax in some states. Sandwiches are also subject to food safety regulations. Even zoning regulations and contracts can be based on what is, or is not, considered a sandwich. The USDA regulates open-faced meat sandwiches, where the ratio of meat to bread and other ingredients is more than half. Meanwhile, the FDA regulates closed sandwiches with at least two slices of bread, as the ratio between meat and other ingredients is below 50%. Is this confusing?
Is Quesadilla a Sandwich?
A quesadilla, according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition, would be classified as a sandwich. It does, at least, if you consider a tortilla to be bread.
That is a whole debate.
According to Justice Jeffrey A. Locke, of the Worcester County Superior Court, Massachusetts, The New Webster Third International Dictionary describes a ‘sandwich’ as ‘two thin pieces of bread, usually buttered, with a thin layer (as of meat, cheese, or savory mixture) spread between them,'” he stated.
“Under this definition and as dictated by common sense, this court finds that the term ‘sandwich’ is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.”
The California tax code refers to “the sale of hot dog and hamburger sandwiches,” which clearly defines a hotdog as a sandwich for tax purposes. However, the National Hotdog and Sausage council disagrees.
So, what exactly is a sandwich? Well, the definition of a sandwich largely depends on how you interpret it.
5 Types of Sandwiches
Here are 5 different types of sandwiches that are normally accepted as “sandwiches” by most people living in the United States.
1. Regular, plain old sandwich
First, is the regular (classic) sandwich. It is what normally pops inside people’s minds when they hear the word “sandwich.” It consists of two slices of bread with some filling squished in the middle. Peanut butter and jelly, bologna and cheese, or ham and Swiss on rye are all examples of traditional sandwiches.
2. Open Face
Open-face sandwiches fulfill the second definition of “sandwich,” which defines a sandwich as made from one slice of bread and covered with food. These include foods like avocado toast or eggs benedict. Or sweeter sandwiches such as cream cheese and strawberries on a slice of bread or toast.
Although the debate over the wrap continues, it is common to see it on sandwich menus at most restaurants and government agencies. In order to make wraps, you place your fillings in a tortilla and “wrap” the tortilla around it, much like a Mexican burrito. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance states that even burritos can be classified as sandwiches because they are “wraps.”
4. Stacked or Double Decker
A sandwich is defined as two “or more” pieces of bread with filling in between. Here is where the “or more” comes into play. This category includes classic sandwiches such as the double-decker club sandwich or the multi-layer Dagwood sandwich. Your Big Mac from McDonald’s can be considered a double-decker sandwich, with the third bun added in the middle.
Grilled sandwiches technically are just regular sandwiches that have a filling between two slices each of bread. However, the sandwich is grilled. And, because of the way they’re cooked, grilled sandwiches deserve their own category. You will be able to tell the difference if you’ve ever had a cold cheese sandwich on bread and a grilled cheese filled with oozing cheesiness. A “cheese sandwich” is a cold cheese sandwiched between two slices of fresh bread. A “grilled cheese sandwich,” on the other hand, is a combination of two slices of fried bread and gooey, luscious cheese in the middle. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Although the ingredients may be identical, the sandwiches can be very different.
Other Uncommon Types of Sandwiches
The sandwich is the ultimate comfort food. It’s portable, it’s universally loved, and it’s easy to make. But not all sandwiches are created equal! Here are some uncommon types of sandwiches we think you should try:
Pinwheel sandwiches are similar to wraps. They also normally use tortillas for their bread base, but other bread and doughs can be used. Pinwheel sandwiches, unlike a wrap, are made with a thin layer of filling over the whole bread or tortilla. Then, the tortilla is folded into a tube and cut into rounds. These rounds look like a pinwheel when laid flat. This is how they got their name.
Anything that is “sandwiched” together to be eaten
Lastly, these are sandwiches that aren’t technically a sandwich, but people still call them sandwiches. These include:
- Sandwich cookies,
- Ice cream sandwiches, and
- Paleo sandwiches in which the bread has been replaced with lettuce or cauliflower patties.
The ingredients can still be “sandwiched” together, so they fall under verb definitions of the word instead of the noun.
How to Make a Sandwich
- When slicing bread, keep identical pieces together so they can be used interchangeably.
- Spreadable fats like butter, margarine, or spread should be at room temperature so that they can be evenly applied to bread without tearing it. The cream should be used if needed. Make sure there is very little room between the spreads.
- The best sandwich filling can vary from diet to diet. Simpler fillings like egg, tuna, and cheese are preferred by some, while more extravagant options like chicken, luncheon meat, corned beef, and sausages are preferred by others.
- Bread can be stacked with multiple layers of fillings like a clubhouse sandwich.
- Use a variety of bread in contrasting colors and cut them into fun shapes to create a visually appealing sandwich.
- Spread it evenly to keep the bread from getting soggy.
- Make your sandwiches more interesting by switching around the form and contents.
Sandwich Packaging Instructions
When taking sandwiches with you on the go, it’s a good idea to wrap them in paper napkins or put them in bags to keep them fresh. To wow your guests, choose a nice platter when you want to serve the meal right away. Covered with a moist towel, keep your sandwiches fresh until you’re ready to serve them. Leave them in the oven until just before serving to keep them from drying out.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you call sandwiches or which type of wrap you prefer. But understanding the 5 types of sandwiches that are available will give you a sense of the range and diversity of this food product. And it may just keep you from having to call a hotdog a sandwich every once in a while.