Is a sandwich a taco

A county judge can rule on a local ordinance and set the dictionary on fire. And also give the internet what it loves most: A simple-looking but unanswerable question to brawl about forever.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.etymonline.com/columns/post/is-a-sandwich-a-taco
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I think this is highly relevant. Let’s ask outselves…what is soup?

In Canada, we are very reluctant (if we will agree to it at all) to call something a sandwich when a bun is involved. If there’s ANY kind of meat in a bun, it’s a burger. (A whole chicken breast served in a bun is a chicken burger and does not count as a chicken sandwich, for example.)

Fast-food employees trained using US-published manuals have asked me if I would like the meal or just the sandwich, and my first (stifled) reaction has been “What!? I never said anything about a sandwich, I just ordered a burger!”

In ordinary Canadian usage, hot dogs are altogether excluded from this argument. By law they may be this or that, but in normal speech they are sui generis.

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In some sense, cannoli are sandwiches, because in some sense they are tacos, which in turn in some sense are sandwiches. :grin:

Sandwich, Broad Definition:

Food that is a different colour on the outside than on the inside, and not because it grew that way. :upside_down_face: :thinking: :sunglasses:

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We gave it up when we got to “if you put a taco in a blender and freeze the results on a stick, is that a sandwich?”

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Now that poses a tough question: if you take two pizza slices and stick them together with the bread outside, do you get a sandwich?
And what do you get if you arrange them with the bread inside?

and what if you put peanut-butter and jelly all over a Mobius strip, what have you got then? If you fight it out 17th-century style, pamphlets at 40 paces, you’ll want these hot and otherwise useless coinages: PANIPLICATE “to fold bread” PANIPLICATED vs. BIFURCATED (split roll), PANISCISSION “the fact of splitting a loaf.”

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A Möbius crêpe I suppose, a treat that would arouse the lipido of any topologist on diet - but only if you manage to keep the peanut-butter on one side and the jelly on the opposite one :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

They probably omitted PANINODARE “to knot bread”, without which no pretzel would be possible :smile:

I suppose a good point of comparison might be the humble ‘McChicken’ or equivalent. A ‘chicken burger’ in the UK, and a ‘(Mc)Chicken sandwich’ in the States.

I don’t think the existence of open faced sandwiches really holds all that much weight. Isn’t its name an admission of its insufficiency as a true sandwich? Seems almost to be saying “bottom half of sandwich”.

All in all I’d rather defy the law and side with Doug’s betweenity vs. enfoldedness: in order to turn a taco into a sort of sandwich one should at least cut off the tortilla where it’s folded and eat the infringing part separately.

As for David_R’s burger, due to my location I’m a little hesitant: here - just like in the rest of the world (McGlobalization?) - a Burger is a bun with something edible stuck in it, but a Bürger is a citizen. And eating a citizen, even if properly cooked and served, might feel a little awkward :wink:

My view is no, because the pizza is formed as one thing then sliced, as opposed to being assembled from slices.

But you could argue those “pizza bite” type things as open-faced sandwiches.

The pinwheel aka rolled sandwich laughs at this argument.

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Mochi…a sandwich? I don’t think so. Are macarons a sandwich as well?

I feel like if you can say “I’ll have a burrito sandwich” without feeling like an idiot and you also get the correct order then sure a burrito is a sandwich.

Isn’t the pinwheel a wrap technically?

Do we actually know that the Earl’s sandwiches were square and crustless? What references are there?

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My father, from Michigan, would take a single slice of bread with peanut butter on top and fold it upon itself, calling it a “foldie”. He explained the word as a shortening of “folded sandwich”.
Living in the US Southwest he was thoroughly acquainted with the word “taco”.
He did say that a foldie was a version of taco… which literally means “something folded” in Spanish.
Spanish, with its usual widely expansive use of words [“tienda” meaning both “tent” and “store”, “tacón” (literally a large “taco”) being a shoe’s heel (because it was often a folded piece of leather)], would have no difficulty with a folded slice of bread, especially with a filling, being a “taco gabacho”. (Although almost any phrase with the word “gabacho” is immediately anti-Yanqui in a gentle way.)
But would a taco be a kind of sandwich? Certainly, if it were eaten in circumstances appropriate for (or “fumctioned as”) a sandwich. Just like a Pepsi is a “Coke” in Florida, and a burger is considered a sandwich in most of the US.
Which I imagine is the reasoning of the judge.

It is not what is called street food.
street food. noun. : prepared food of a kind that is typically sold to customers on a street or sidewalk and that is often designed to be carried and eaten while walking.
Also that food that is local.