Are Hot Dogs Actually Sandwiches? Padma Lakshmi Settles the Debate

Padma has spoken.

Over the weekend, Padma Lakshmi appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Though she was there mainly to discuss this season of Top Chef: World All-Stars, Lakshmi caught the internet's attention with her take on a hot question — are hot dogs, in fact, sandwiches? 

In the clip, Fallon asks Lakshmi about her childhood years in New York City and how she'd frequent the hot dog carts along almost every corner. Though, Lakshmi explained, she never really had the dogs. 

"I didn't eat meat then," Lakshmi shared, adding  that she and her mother "asked the hot dog guy for the hot dog without the hot dog." But the duo did at least fill the bun with "all the fixings." 

Fallon then surprised Lakshmi with two hot dogs, minus the hot dog. After tasting it, Fallon said, "it's not for me." 

Though he wasn't a fan, Fallon did at least get to ask Lakshmi the question the internet has been dying to know: Is a hot dog a sandwich? 

Padma Lakshmi; hot dogs

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"I mean, it's a poor excuse for a sandwich, but it's technically a sandwich," Lakshmi said. Her answer appeared to displease the crowd, who let out a few boos, to which Fallon added, "the crowd has turned on you." 

Lakshmi isn't the first to declare hot dogs a sandwich. In 2018, the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg concluded that a hot dog is indeed a sandwich while on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. That same year, frankfurter company Oscar Mayer told Today, "We're ending the debate once and for all, and declaring that yes, a hot dog is a sandwich." 

The debate has been going on for years and, from the looks of it, will not go away any time soon. But now, with the input of a culinary legend, we can finally lay it to rest. Or maybe we should remove humans from the equation entirely and ask ChatGPT

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