Is it a sammich?


Hence the use of the word ‘probably’. There are always exceptions.

Still, panini’s are different from most sandwiches in that you introduce another step into the sandwich making, namely grilling.


English, perhaps.

In many other languages, actually no:

So, perhaps a more precise question:

¿Qué es una torta?


And to add onto that point, paninis involve the use of un-sliced bread as defined by ‘the first thing I see on a Google-search’ :wink:

Actually, I think a better counterpoint to my point (because I’m really arguing this with myself as much as anyone, for the fun of it) would be the ‘Grilled Cheese Sandwich’. So, I think this gets to the heart of the matter where the essence of a thing is what the word can be most efficiently used to describe. Other than a simple ingredient list suffixed with the word sandwich, if you have to add other words to define what it is you want to eat, are you getting away from the essence that makes it a sandwich in the first place?

After all, I can have a cheese sandwich and I would expect to get something uncooked on two slices of bread. They’re my wife’s favorite, actually. However, she doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwiches, so addition of the additional cooking step would seem to suggest that it exists in somewhere in between sandwich and panini territory.

FYI, I actually voted ‘radical anarchist’, but I’m posing the purist argument here for the fun of the discussion I thought it might generate. Exactly what a radical anarchist would do, I guess :wink:


“Radical Sandwich Anarchy” would be a great name for a heavy metal band.


You make the call…


I would recommend watching the whole movie but in this clip, examine the section from 0:25 to 1:10.

Just remember…



Sandwiches can be toasted, which is essentially what a panini is, except it’s just been weighted down and uses more sophisticated bread (not sliced wheat or white, more of a ciabatta/baguette), traditionally. Using unsliced bread can be likened to a sub sandwich, which would still be a sandwich (voted structural neutral, ingredient purist)


A sandwich would be something that has bread or a similar bread substance (tortilla, flatbread, etc.), that is not crunchy, covering THREE SIDES of the filling(ice cream, traditional sandwich fillings, etc.) According to that, a wrap is not a sandwich, and a taco is not a sandwich, however a soft shell taco is a sandwich, as well as a hot dog.


A taco covers the left, right, and bottom sides of the “filling” with a tortilla, so it is a sandwich by your own definition!


why are you like this


According to my rules, a hard shell taco is not a sandwich, because the shell is crunchy, however a soft shell taco is a sandwich because it is not crunchy and more similar to bread.



So by your rules, burgers are only sometimes sandwiches? I agree about American cheese, especially the types that aren’t actually cheese (Kraft singles).

I voted True Neutral, though I think I’m probably somewhere between Structural Neutral, Ingredient Purist and True Neutral. I’ve never really considered hot dogs sandwiches, but I do consider subs sandwiches (“sub” is short for “submarine sandwich”.) Wraps are their own category. I am Ingredient Neutral.

Which category do chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches fall into?


That’s an incredible amount of purity with pies (not allowing a graham cracker crust such as chocolate and many custard pies have, nor an enclosed pie (e.g. calzone or many fried pies), nor pizza pie) and incredible freedom with cakes (referring to something that is not a cake at all at all except in a totally different meaning of the word, e.g. “some cream cheese custard is caked on this graham cracker crust”).

Different crusts. The cake crusts you list are all still moist, just a bit less moist than the body of the cake, and composed of the same material as the body of the cake. Bread crust is similar, made of the same material as the body, though it may have some butter, egg, water, or other treatment to reduce moisture* and therefore exaggerate crustiness. Pie crust is made of a distinct material from the filling.

I would have thought a garage band, but heavy metal works too.

  • Water on the loaf to reduce moisture - yes, this is actually sometimes done with French Bread. I haven’t seen this done since Sunday…


Burgers can only be on white bread. Not a sammy. But it can venture into a sammy IF it is on wheat bread (completely Un-American) AND you add tomatoes, onions, lettuce, etc. If there is more ketchup than mustard, that negates the deal altogether.

Chicken and egg salad sammies are frankenstein’s monsters. Great to build, better to eat. But again, should only be built on white bread - so not a sammy. It also depends on their sweetness…

Sammies should more savory/umami in taste.


OK, I’m trying to gather up and clarify the sandwich discussion (leaving out cakes, pies, etc).

  1. The only point of agreement I’ve found is that sandwiches have an outer thing, and one or more inner things.

I’ve found differences on three axes (not just the two Matthew listed), with a bit more detail (five steps per axis rather than three)

Structure of outer layer:

  1. Only things between two slices of the outer layer are sandwiches.
  2. The outer layer may be a “loaf” or “bun” of the outer substance cut in two, or may consist of more than two slices of bread , whether slices are of a loaf or a bun.
  3. The outer layer may be a “flat loaf” (flatbread, pita, tortilla) wrapped around the inner layer, though only on three sides
  4. The outer layer may be a “flat loaf” wrapped around the inner layer on any number of sides.
  5. The outer layer may be applied to the inner layer by dipping or stuffing a structure which covers five or six sides.

Content of inner layer:

  1. Must be meat and only meat
  2. Must include meat
  3. Must include meat, seafood, or other protein
  4. Must be savory
  5. May be anything.

Content of outer layer:

  1. Must be white bread
  2. Must be leavened bread
  3. Must be grain-based
  4. Must be starch-based
  5. May be anything.

As stated in my previous post, I’m rather open on what I consider to be a sandwich, at 4,4,4.


That would be considered not a sandwich because the outermost layer is crunchy.


Actually, the outer most layer is soft, followed by cheese, and THEN crunchy on the inside, along with other ingredients.

What about Subway’s Frito subs? It’s basically the same thing…


Gus, I like your summary. However, I cannot go along with structure point 5.

I do not think you can restrict the most radical type of structure to hexahedrons. Perhaps instead of “five or six sides.”, it should be “n-1 or n sides.”

BTW, there may be some exceptions but I think I would be a 3,3,3.



I believe you’re talking about faces, not sides.

Also, I noticed another axis which appears at least somewhat independent of the others - the consistency of the outside.

  1. The outer substance may not be crunchy.
  2. The outer substance may be crunchy.


For sandwiches, I believe the layering of the fill material matters.

Majority parallel layering = sandwich.
Majority perpendicular layering or non layering altogether = something else (burrito, wrap).

A taco would not be a sandwich based on orientation of the fill material, because it is perpendicular to the shell.