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Is a Wrap a Sandwich? The Debate Tearing a UK Town Apart

Sandwich taxonomy is very serious

Wraps on wraps on wraps
Wraps on wraps on wraps
Shutterstock

Does a wrap — that is, some combination of meats, cheeses, and/or vegetables rolled up in a flatbread of sorts — qualify as a sandwich? A restaurant in the UK believes so, and diners are incensed over it.

The Mid Sussex Times reports that earlier this month, a cafe introduced a special menu to honor British Sandwich Week (that's the second week in May, if you'd like to mark your calendar for next year). Included on said menu were wraps — including an admittedly tasty-sounding halloumi cheese and sweet chili iteration — and this didn't sit well with customers, who took to the restaurant's customer feedback forms to express their outrage.

"A wrap is just a sad excuse for a sandwich!" one wrote. "How is a piece of cold, flat dough wrapped around a heap of filling, the same as a sandwich?" queried another. "What happened to cheese and pickle and other traditional British fillings? Next you’ll be serving it with French fries!!!" another diner wrote. (The differences between American and British food cultures becomes glaringly evident with that last comment.)

The cafe's manager was unmoved by all of this, and tells the Times the wraps will be staying on the menu underneath the "Sandwich" category. "The British Sandwich Association defines a sandwich as: Any form of bread with a filling to include traditional wedge sandwiches, as well as filled rolls, baguettes, pitta, bloomers, wraps, bagels and the like, so it is clear that we are not doing anything wrong by including them in our Sandwich Week menu," he argues.

But is a wrap a sandwich? According to the website isawrapasandwich.com (yes, someone really went to the trouble of registering that URL), the answer is an unequivocal "No." Meanwhile, Wikipedia — the authoritative source for lazy high school students everywhere — defines the wrap as a "sandwich alternative," which further fuels the idea that no, a wrap is not in fact a sandwich. Then again, what the hell does a place that sells plants know about sandwich taxonomy anyway?

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