Tuesday Buzz: Let’s Talk About Sandwiches

Is a hot dog a sandwich? A council with a lot of authority on the issue would like to set the record straight. Also: The American Chemical Society explains how to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

When the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council takes a stand on something, it knows how to cut the mustard.

In a recent blog post, the council took a definitive stance on whether a hot dog is a sandwich, an unusual debate that even a presidential candidate has weighed in on. Long story short: It isn’t. In fact, it’s in a category of its own.

“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the dalai lama ‘just a guy,’” said NHDSC President Janet Riley.

The group notes that, while formal guidance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts the meat-and-bread concoction in the sandwich category, the evolution of the handheld edible requires a rethinking of terminology, one that it hopes the larger food world can get behind.

“While we thank the USDA for their careful regulation and inspection of our products, regulatory brevity is not their strength,” Riley continued. “We hope our position offers America some clarity and peace of mind. No matter how someone defines a hot dog, this much we can all agree on: It is the great American food, beloved by all.”

By the way, if you’re in the need of a ton of information about hot dogs, we have an article that does just that. Also of note: The council has taken a formal stance on the whole hot-dogs-have-human-DNA controversy from a couple weeks back, though it has let its parent organization, the North American Meat Institute, take the lead on the processed-meat-causes-cancer controversy.

Grilled Cheese Magic

Want to create a killer grilled cheese sandwich? There’s a bit of a science to the ooey-gooeyness of creating an artfully fried slab of bread and cheese, but the American Chemical Society (ACS) is on it.

In the latest issue of its popular Reactions YouTube series, the group highlights the process of making cheese and outlines exactly what kind of cheeses makes for the best result—and exactly what kind of cheeses break the whole process down.

“The secret to getting the perfect cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich is to find one with the right pH to perfectly balance out the calcium and protein structure,” the society explains in its video clip, shown above.

Check out ACS’ strategy behind its popular online video offerings over this way.

Around the Bun

You know who makes a lot of sandwiches? Restaurants! In honor of Veterans Day, the National Restaurant Association is highlighting member companies that are offering discounts to U.S. vets and active-duty military personnel.

The British Sandwich Association is looking for a few people who can combine bread, meat, and veggies in an interesting way. The trade group is currently looking for entrants for the 2016 edition of its British Sandwich Designer of the Year, a tournament-style competition that takes place starting in March. The association will give you the ingredients, and it’s up to entrants to make them shine.

The headline of this piece is “What Burritos and Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation.” Enough said.

Now I’m regretting writing this article on an empty stomach.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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