The Greatest Food Debates Of All Time, Answered – Pineapple On Pizza? Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?

biggest food debates answered


I’m not a foodie. I’m not a food connoisseur. I’d give my palate a C+ if it was graded on a curve, so as much as I’d love to be a judge on a cooking show, it would not be in that show’s best interest (unless they wanted a judge throwing out terms like “flavor profile” and asking about reductions when neither would be applicable. In that case, I’m your man and am very much available).

For what I might lack in culinary proficiency, I make up for in opinions. I have them, I love them, I cherish them, and I nurture them with the care one might nurture a small baby duckling they had recently rescued from a nearby pond. Again, I don’t know a lot about food but that has yet to stop me from harboring opinions about it.

I recently decided to use these opinions of mine for good and settle some of the biggest food debates that have raged for what I can only imagine are decades. This is it. This is the final word on these subjects.

Once this piece is in the books, the case is closed and we can move on to other popular food debates and other food-related issues.

Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?

biggest food debates answered


No, no it is not. It comes closeso, so close—but a hot dog is not a sandwich.

A sandwich consists of two pieces of bread. Those two pieces of bread are simply where it all starts when it comes to sandwiches. Seeing as how a hot dog resides in a bun, which is only one piece of bread, it’s not a sandwich.

It’s a hot dog. That’s its classification, as is the case with a sub or hoagie or hero or grinder or whatever the hell you want to call that particular food delivery vehicle.

What’s that? You would counter by saying those collections of meats, cheeses, and your toppings of choice are also sandwiches? Well for starters, pick a name. Is it a sub or is it a hoagie or is it a hero or is it that weird moniker people in New England seem so fond of? Whatever you call it, it’s something in a bun, not something between two slices of bread. I don’t care what we’re calling it but we’re not calling it a sandwich.

Hot dog enthusiasts should be happy to be loyal to a food that defies classification; one that is unique and its own thing. Individualism is a lost art.

Where does a hot dog sit on a menu? Is it part of the “Sandwiches” section? No. It’s listed as “From the Grill,.” This makes sense, because unless you’re whipping up a hot dog for your kid on the quick, you’re cooking a hot dog on the grill.

Really, this is just nitpicking, because everyone knows a hot dog is not a sandwich. It’s a laughable stance to take, and if someone takes it, you’d be right to question their motivations. Are they truly advocating for hot dogs to be considered a sandwich or are they just trying to make noise? Are they starting trouble? We have enough trouble right now in this world of ours. We don’t need anymore—especially fake, bogus trouble.

In the end, folks, it’s all about the bread. Sandwiches use two pieces of bread that the contents are…sandwiched between. A bun, which you use for a hot dog, is one piece of bread. Yes, every once in a while, you might find yourself eating a hot dog in between two pieces of bread, but if that’s the case, you have bigger problems to deal with.

A hot dog is a hot dog. A hot dog is not a sandwich.

Does Pineapple Belong On Pizza?

biggest food debates answered


This one is a little tougher because I generally try not to judge someone who’s doing what’s right for them. You do you, I say. I am nothing if not a strong proponent of people doing what feels right without fear of being judged.

But come on, pineapple on pizza doesn’t make any sense. None at all. The phrase “pineapple pizza” sounds like the punchline of a bad joke or the name of an off-brand jam band. It’s absurd. Plus, we have enough poorly named jam bands as it is. God knows we don’t need anymore.

I’ve personally never met someone who actually likes putting that delicious fruit on pizza. It feels more like something you’d say you liked to impress others; something to make them think you’re cool in an eccentric kind of way as opposed to the boring person you actually are.

In reality, putting pineapple pieces on pizza is culinary malpractice. Why? For starters, pineapples are juicy. You bite into one and pineapple juice drips out—no, pineapple juice squirts and oozes out. It’s not clean. Evidence of what happened is everywhere.

The only liquidy substance I want on my pizza is grease, but even then, I’m only looking for it in small doses. I’m not into blotting grease off my pizza; wasting valuable time grabbing a napkin, crumpling it up, and dabbing away oily puddles. Pineapple juice collecting and dribbling around a slice of pizza would just get in the way. It’d be too much; tipping the scales of what is and what isn’t the right amount of liquid on a slice of pizza.

Don’t get me wrong. I love pineapple. I frequently cite it as my favorite fruit, and in a perfect world, I’d be noshing on some right now. But just because I love pineapple, it doesn’t mean I’m looking to incorporate it into pizza, one of my favorite foods. Rarely does anything good come from combining two or more of your favorite things. It gets messy (in this case, literally) and you’re inevitably taking away from at least one of those favorite things for the sake of the whole.

That’s the problem here: Pineapple is great. Pizza is also great. Yet when combined, it’s decidedly not great. You can do you, kid, but if you doing you results in you putting pineapple on pizza, you’re just doing it wrong.

Are Tomatoes A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

biggest food debates answered


Life is about picking sides. Neutrality is fine if you’re Switzerland and this is World War II, but in any other situation, it’s a waste of time. It’s a cop-out. You pick a side, you fight for that side, and you ultimately live with the decisions and choices you’ve made.

Unless you’re a tomato. If you’re a tomato, then you live your entire life straddling the line between fruit and vegetable. That’s no way to live your life, tomatoes. Existing on the dividing line is the coward’s way out. Tomatoes aren’t cowards. Tomatoes are delicious. So it’s time for them to pick a side.

Now, you may be inclined to think this debate is absurd because tomatoes are obviously vegetables. You may also be of the opinion that while tomatoes might feel like vegetables, they are actually fruits. You know it doesn’t really make sense, but you follow rules and do what you’re told. You’ve been told your whole life that despite what you may think, tomatoes are a fruit, and as a result, that’s what you also think.

Tomatoes are a fruit! No, wait! Tomatoes are a vegetable! Ugh. Make up your mind, tomatoes!

Google whether or not a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable and you’ll only be more confused. It’s a fruit, but it’s a vegetable. The tomato is just a vegetable. Tomatoes are a fruit pretending to be a vegetable and are so effin’ good at this masquerade that they’ve convinced people they’re vegetables when they are technically a fruit. Tomatoes would make brilliant spies.

Thanks for nothing, Google.

What exactly a tomato is is a question that has been battered around for years. In 1893, a Supreme Court justice argued that a tomato was a fruit. But despite such a ruling from up on high, people still considered the tomato a vegetable. You know, because a tomato is a vegetable.

From there, things got messy because farmers and purveyors of markets and vegetable stands started using the designation of the tomato being a fruit to skirt taxes placed on vegetables. There were lawsuits and numerous heated disagreements and it’s all because tomatoes were non-committal.

Good job, tomatoes.

I don’t care if the way it’s grown might align a tomato more closely with fruits. I consider the tomato a vegetable, you consider the tomato a vegetable, and, hell, tomatoes probably consider themselves vegetables. At a certain point, popular opinion trumps logic. If we all think something is a certain way, then it’s that certain way, regardless of what facts might say.

It’s called groupthink, and in most cases, it’s not the best. But when it comes to tomatoes, it’s incredibly helpful and cements them as a vegetable.

Is Chili Soup?

biggest food debates answered


Ha! No.

Just like a hot dog is a hot dog and a hot dog is not a sandwich, chili is chili. Chili is not soup. What are we even doing here, people?

It appears there are certain people out there who would argue that chili is a soup. More often than not, their rationale is where you’d find chili on a menu. Chili is with the soups so, therefore, chili is a soup. But come on, we’re letting organizational tactics guide us here? Please. That’s weak.

Chili is not weak, that’s for sure. Chili is a Mac truck; it’s a bulldozer. Chili tastes so, so good going down and yes, can be so, so rough going out but something that tastes so good like chili should come at a cost, even if that cost means sitting in the bathroom for an hour or so grappling and dealing with the choices you’ve made.

Chili fills you up. Soup doesn’t fill you up. It’s true. Soup is like sushi. You can eat both for hours and still not feel full. Have you ever felt full from eating sushi? Of course not. The same goes for soup and does not go for chili.

Soup also typically needs a sidekick—something like a grilled cheese—to survive. Soup on its own is not enough, whereas chili can definitely survive without a trusty assistant.

However, let’s not diminish the value of cornbread. Chili and cornbread are the Bash Brothers of the culinary world; they crush it but also they might not be the best thing for everyone involved.

The only things that chili and soup have in common are that they both come in bowls and they both generally work best during the colder months. That’s about it. Oh, and you use spoons. So spoons, bowls, and cold temperatures. That’s it. That is certainly not enough to lump the two together.

Chili deserves better than that. Chili is definitely not a soup.

What Is The Best Way To Eat Corn On The Cob?

biggest food debates answered


Heading into grilling season, this is an especially relevant topic to tackle. Consider this a public service announcement, because the last thing you want to do is look like an ill-informed clown at your friend’s place on a sunny summer afternoon.

Okay, so you get your corn and it looks perfect. Whoever was manning the grill killed it and the corn is as yellow as the sun shining up above. Butter is optional. Again, you do you and I won’t judge. I’m not much for condiments myself. I had a friend tell me once that my ability to survive without condiments made me especially well-suited for an apocalyptic scenario and I took it as a well-deserved compliment.

Once the butter is on, the real game begins. No two people eat corn on the cob the same way and each thinks their way is the right way. Many of those people are wrong.

There’s the typewriter method, which is when you eat from side-to-side (like, you know, a typewriter). We’ve also got the circular method, where you rotate the corn as you eat. There’s always the strange duck who likes their corn lopped off the cob, but eh, not cool dude.

So there are only two official methods. That is something we can all agree on. But which method is the best?

I can’t hate on the circular method. It’s not bad, but it’s sloppy and you’re liable to miss some of that wonderfully delicious corn. I suppose if you’re fine with not getting 100% of something, then you’re fine with the circular method. I bet you only watched eight of the ten episodes of The Last Dance, too. That’s so like you.

The typewriter method is the way to go. It’s effective, organized, and efficient. You start at a fixed point and end at a fixed point and, more importantly, you have more control of the cob than you do when you go with the circular method.

It’s easier to take breaks and pick up where you left off, too. This is important, because regardless of how you eat corn on the cob, that is going to find it’s way into every creek and crevice in your mouth (a fun fact about eating corn on the cob is that it leads to the only time it’s socially acceptable to dig into your mouth and pick out stuff that is stuck between your teeth).

You need breaks. You need a system. You need structure. I could be talking about any facet of life here but I’m talking about eating corn on the cob. As a result, the typewriter method is the only way to go.

Ryan harbors a constant fear of losing his keys, prefers flip flops, and will always choose cereal if it's an option. He maintains his own blog, Giddy Up America, and has previously contributed work to UPROXX & Heavy. Ryan is on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79