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A Burrito Is Not A Sandwich

March 24, 2009
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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.”

NOT A SANDWICH
burrito yard
STILL NOT A SANDWICH

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.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2009 9:02 pm

    mark my words, i’m making a Trumer Pilswich. mwhahahaha!

  2. emamd permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:29 pm

    BJN has mounted one of the most eloquent burrito defenses of our time. To me, this seems a crime of either overly simplifying, or east vs. west coast sensibilities.

    Best of the comment chain:

    EyeVeeDripz:
    Ok. I don’t want to freak anyone out here…. but what if you took a burrito or wrap, and put it between two slices of bread. Then what the hell would you be eating??

    Name:
    One would be consuming a physical manifestation of God.

    — Well said, my friend.

  3. March 26, 2009 8:27 am

    who knew the sandwichshpere got so much drama!!

  4. March 26, 2009 8:49 am

    Apparently there is an East Coast sandwich blog war going on between the Philly and NY sites. This is why a burrito doesn’t want to be a sandwich.

Trackbacks

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