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Charles Riggs infrared: Agreed for the sourdough, although I don't recall ever finding really good sourdough outside the San Francisco Bay area.

Me neither. I even doubt if much of the sourdough bread sold elsewhere can legitimately be called that. Am I to believe Irish bakers, for example, were sent a batch of San Francisco's dough or yeast to start the process of making more?

Seattle has a very good sourdough bread maker. I'm struggling to=20 remember the name, Seattle Baking Co., or Seattle Sourdough, or=20 something along those lines. It's located on one of the piers=20 along Elliot Bay. If I were there, I could walk right to it, but cannot give directions because I've forgotten most of the street=20 names. Anyway, it's good stuff, nearly the equal of SF bread. =20
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A filling not being a toping, some people contend. And are all types of fillings, or toppings, admissible?

No. It has to be a filling that has sufficient sandwich-fillingness in quality.

You'll have to be more specific before I can go along with that.
No-one would argue about the sandwich nature of peanut butter sandwiches, BLTs, and many others.

The interesting thing about peanut butter is that it can serve as both a filling and as a topping.

Cream cheese mixed with chopped green olives is another. Oddly enough, it must be spread on white bread. Nothing else will do.
What gets complicated is naming, sandwich-like things that aren't such, ... of bread are correctly named, but not everyone here agrees.

I agree with the latter contention, that there can be a sandwich despite the absence of an upper slice. (However, this does not mean that any single slice of bread with something on top of it is a "sandwich".)

True. You can't, for example, pile some lettuce on a piece of bread and term it a sandwich. It gets trickier with cucumber slices marinated in a vinaigrette, although I'd call that a sandwich. Again, white bread must be used or the bread taste may overpower the rest.
I do not agree that a hamburger is a sandwich, though a patty melt may be one. I also think it possible that a hamburger used to be a sandwich.

Mac's still calls it one, and who knows from hamburgers better? What is the essential difference between a roast beef sandwich that includes tomato, lettuce and a thingy that is the same except a beef patty is substituted for the roast beef slices and a bun is used instead of a hard roll?
My reasons are that anything edible can make up the ... taste, given the same ingredients, even though lacking a top.

I do not entirely agree with your reasoning here, though I accept much of it. I think there are edible things that cannot serve as the filling of a sandwich. But otherwise, yes, open-faced sandwiches are sandwiches.

I think, again, that we need to pin down which edible things are excluded. Very few things, I'd think: crackers and all types of junk food; potato slices, perhaps; chocolate; spaghetti, although some other types of pasta are okay in some sandwiches; whipped cream; nuts, probably... Am I getting close?
I also think that, perhaps unwittingly, you've explained why hamburgers are not sandwiches: (1) Sandwiches are often sliced before they are eaten. This is rarely if ever done with hamburgers, where the integrality of the patty is considered to be of great importance.

True, but some sandwiches that are undeniably sandwiches are rarely, if ever, sliced, as well. I would never slice a pita bread sandwich with hummus inside, for one.
(2) I am not sure that hamburgers typically provide the same food value as a normative sandwich. I see them as serving distinct dietary functions.

What about the cheese, if there, the onions, ketchup and mustard, which must be there, and the lettuce and tomato slice, which may be there? Good stuff, no? In addition, you can add bacon slices, mushrooms, peppers of various kinds, and...almost anything of a sandwich-filling nature. Lastly, ground beef has relatively high nutritive value and some grounds are very low in fat compared to lunch meats, which no-one would exclude as sandwich fillings.
(3) Hamburgers do not have essentially the same taste as normative sandwiches (there really is no normative sandwich that is close in concept to a hamburger).

I can't buy this one at all. What does a sandwich taste like? After various combinations of things are included inside a hamburger bun, what does a hamburger taste like? A bacon-burger, for example, tastes more like a BLT than an unadorned hamburger, and the BLT may be the quintessential American sandwich.

Charles Riggs
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I do not agree that a hamburger is a sandwich, ... it possible that a hamburger used to be a sandwich.

Mac's still calls it one, and who knows from hamburgers better? What is the essential difference between a roast beef ... a beef patty is substituted for the roast beef slices and a bun is used instead of a hard roll?

I think the difference is that the hamburger has the beef patty. The beef patty has concept-transformative and category-shifting effects that bring the hamburger out of the sandwich and into the hamburger, if you catch my drift. There's no such thing as a beef patty sandwich, unless the patty melt is a sandwich, which I have conceded it might be, in which case something else is at work here perhaps the bun.
I do not entirely agree with your reasoning here, though ... of a sandwich. But otherwise, yes, open-faced sandwiches are sandwiches.

I think, again, that we need to pin down which edible things are excluded. Very few things, I'd think: crackers ... spaghetti, although some other types of pasta are okay in some sandwiches; whipped cream; nuts, probably... Am I getting close?

Yes. Though I would note that my younger brother made a whipped cream (Reddi-Whip or the like, actually) sandwich when he was 2 or 3.

Steny '08!
Areff wrote on 08 Dec 2004:

I think a hamburger can be a sandwhich when it's between two pieces of toast instead of on a bun.
How about organic peanut butter, sliced banana, and Danish blue cheese on whole wheat bread? That's one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. I used to eat them all the time when I lived in Pasadena. I've never had one here in Taiwan, though. The Danish blue and organic peanut butter are impossible to get down south.

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I think the difference is that the hamburger has the beef patty. The beef patty has concept-transformative and category-shifting effects ... which I have conceded it might be, in which case something else is at work here perhaps the bun.

Why is a "beef patty" essential to a hamburger? When my wife makes hamburgers, and when a decent restaurant makes hamburgers, a chuck of ground meat is taken and pressed into a flattish shape. There is no pre-existing patty involved.
When a fast food emporium makes a hamburger, they take a pre-made portion control amount of ground meat-like substance and cook it.

Are you saying that my wife's hamburgers are not hamburgers, and not sandwiches, because they don't start life as a patty?
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Why is a "beef patty" essential to a hamburger? When my wife makes hamburgers, and when a decent restaurant makes hamburgers, a chuck of ground meat

"Chuck" is a cut, isn't it? MWCD11 agrees
1 : a cut of beef that includes most of the neck, the parts aboutthe shoulder blade, and those about the first three ribs

"Ground chuck" is chuck (or "chuck steak") that's been ground.
is taken and pressed into a flattish shape. There is no pre-existing patty involved.

I'd say that one is formed when the meat is pressed into a flattish shape.

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I think the difference is that the hamburger has the ... something else is at work here perhaps the bun.

Why is a "beef patty" essential to a hamburger? When my wife makes hamburgers, and when a decent restaurant makes hamburgers, a chuck of ground meat is taken and pressed into a flattish shape. There is no pre-existing patty involved.

You seem to be defining "patty" to mean "pre-existing patty". Why isn't your "chuck of ground meat taken and pressed into a flattish shape" definable as a "patty"? M-W defines patty as "a small flat cake of chopped food".
I say that hamburgers include patties by definition.
When a fast food emporium makes a hamburger, they take a pre-made portion control amount of ground meat-like substance and cook it. Are you saying that my wife's hamburgers are not hamburgers, and not sandwiches, because they don't start life as a patty?

No. Clearly you are defining patty too narrowly, though I don't understand why. That pressed, flattished-shaped thing is a patty, I say.

Steny '08!
Why is a "beef patty" essential to a hamburger? When ... a decent restaurant makes hamburgers, a chuck of ground meat

"Chuck" is a cut, isn't it? MWCD11 agrees 1 : a cut of beef that includes most of the neck, the parts about the shoulder blade, and those about the first three ribs "Ground chuck" is chuck (or "chuck steak") that's been ground.

Sorry..that should have been "chunk". I'm not sure what word would have worked better. A handful? Fistful? Wad?
is taken and pressed into a flattish shape. There is no pre-existing patty involved.

I'd say that one is formed when the meat is pressed into a flattish shape.

Yes, but you can cook slices of potato and not say that fried potatoes require a slice of potato. They require a potato, cut into slices. I don't think what you do as you prepare the food dictates what you call it.
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Charles Riggs wrote, in part:
I do not entirely agree with your reasoning here, though ... of a sandwich. But otherwise, yes, open-faced sandwiches are sandwiches.

I think, again, that we need to pin down which edible things are excluded. Very few things, I'd think: crackers and all types of junk food;

I used to enjoy peanut butter and potato chip sandwiches. I suspect I still would enjoy them, come to think of it. I'll do some research.
potato slices, perhaps; chocolate...

Nutella can be in a sandwich. But is Nutella chocolate?
I also think that, perhaps unwittingly, you've explained why hamburgers ... of the patty is considered to be of great importance.

True, but some sandwiches that are undeniably sandwiches are rarely, if ever, sliced, as well. I would never slice a pita bread sandwich with hummus inside, for one.

I always slice my hamburgers, as otherwise it is too difficult to keep the proper meat:bun ratio towards the end. (No, I don't have an overbite.)

SML
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