A Burrito Is Not A Sandwich
Thanks to the investigative leanings of breadXbread, I have discovered a furious debate in the sandwichsphere around the question, “Is a burrito a sandwich?”
My basic, visceral response is “Are you fucking kidding me? Of course not.”
breadXbread shares this opinion. Turns out the Massachusetts legal system has weighed in on the matter as well. A mall bakery had negotiated a “sandwich exclusivity clause” and sued when a burrito maker moved in. Verdict — a burrito is not a sandwich. Food topology and anthropology was raised as evidence in the trial (two slices of bread vs a single tortilla, European vs Mexican roots).
The bakery rather unimaginatively argued “for a broad definition of sandwich, saying a flour tortilla qualifies as bread and a food product with bread and a filling is a sandwich.” (Dude, beer qualifies as bread, but you don’t see me ordering a Trumer Pilswich.)
I personally would have used the classic “torta defense” — if there’s something in a parallel food universe that is clearly a sandwich (a torta), then another thing (a burrito) that you are trying to claim is a sandwich is clearly not a sandwich. Q.B.D. (Quod Burriterat Demonstrandum.)
I don’t know if this says more about the sensibility of the East Coast justice system or New England stubborness forcing this to come to trial. (Eating burritos in a mall is a different problem entirely.)
A long debate follows in the comments section of Unbreaded on the burrito/sandwich “question”, including some desperate rear-guard action by the sandwich borg who would like to label any and everything a sandwich. My favorite, however, is the very first by commenter BJN:
The burrito will never let you down. The burrito is a warrior. The burrito has a surprisingly shapely silhouette. The burrito knows what you need, always says the right things and doesn’t hesitate to be just a little bit vulnerable.
The burrito is, by choice, not a sandwich. It doesn’t need, nor does it want, to be a sandwich. Let us not waste more time with such folly! A burrito is no more a sandwich than a hamachi roll, and for that I am eternally grateful.
We do not need, and dare I say that those of us who possess a modicum of sanity do not want each and every one of our food items to be a sandwich. Let us embrace our differences! Let us celebrate our varied tastes and indulge our rapacious appetites! Let us sing our gastronomic idiosyncrasies! I am large. I contain multitudes.
That, my friends, is poetry.
Cast your opinion below if you dare.