DailyDirt: The Legal Definition Of What You're Eating...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are some bizarre legal definitions for common foods. For example, we've seen that the definition of a sandwich was under dispute because a burrito place was encroaching on a sandwich shop in a shopping mall food court. That case decided that a burrito was not a sandwich, but food experts don't all agree on that point. Here are a few other cases of defining some foods legally and not with your gut. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 21 Nov 2014 @ 5:06pm

    That case decided that a burrito was not a sandwich, but food experts don't all agree on that point.

    Seriously? A sandwich is filling served between two slices of bread. A burrito does not have slices of bread; it has the filling wrapped in a tortilla. What room is there for disagreement on something so simple?

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    • identicon
      Whoever, 21 Nov 2014 @ 5:13pm

      Definitions

      Seriously? A sandwich is filling served between two slices of bread.


      That's your definition. Arguably, a sandwich is a construction of meat and bread which allows the person to eat it without holding the filling (look up the history of the invention of the sandwich). A burrito would be covered by my definition.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 3:33am

      Re:

      "A burrito does not have slices of bread; it has the filling wrapped in a tortilla."

      Fail. A tortilla is unleavened bread.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re:

        Fail. 'A tortilla' is still not 'two slices of bread'. It is at best the equivalent of one slice of bread. And since it's wrapped around the filling, it doesn't qualify as an 'open sandwich' either, with IMHO is an oxymoron. Open sandwiches were the first step in diluting the definition of what a sandwich really is.

        All this dumbing down of food so that even the most idiotic wanker can simply ask for a 'sammich' (god, kill those people, please!) without having to learn what they're actually eating.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 9:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What's to be done about quesadillas, though? Most involve folding, but at least one variant requires two tortillas (which could be divided into open vs. crimped/sealed edges)... Damn, I can't believe I gave away my Larousse Gastronomique.

          "Sandwich" may be correct, but "sammiches" are fun and "sammidges" rock.

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    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 23 Nov 2014 @ 7:04pm

      What hair are you going to split?

      Bread+Meat.

      Tortilla is a flatbread. So it qualifies as a sandwich.

      Unless you can dig up the Earl of Sandwich, any definition is likely arbitrary. Although that's fine too so long as everyone is aware of what that arbitrary definition is.

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  • icon
    DB (profile), 21 Nov 2014 @ 5:25pm

    The exact definition of a sandwich really does depend on the context.

    In the context of a mall writing a lease that grants an exclusive sandwich market to a single business, a burrito arguably shouldn't count as a sandwich. The lease clearly didn't mean to exclude all other food places, or it would have been more broadly written. And a burrito, typically filled with rice and beans, and fully wrapped, isn't all that close to a submarine sandwich or a burger. (A 'wrap' might result in a different decision, but that's not at issue here.)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Nov 2014 @ 5:32pm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DB (profile), 22 Nov 2014 @ 5:26am

    That 'fail' points back to you. The statement didn't address the question of a tortilla being bread. It's key elements were "slices" and "between". A tortilla is not sliced, and the content is wrapped within rather than captured between.

    If the argument is going to be over exact definitions and phrasing, well, "technically correct is the best kind of correct".

    And don't try to construct a definition that is so general such that you end up with an absurd result such as donuts, Oreos, fried chicken or tempura fitting the category.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 8:38am

      Re:

      That is a very narrow view of what a sandwich is. Think for instance about open faced sandwiches. Then there is the way sandwich got the name sandwich:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich

      and the line of persons that honorarium related to:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Sandwich

      But the most important view came from a 'sandwich theory' class I took a long time ago. Not only were the varieties of sandwich types, ingredients, containers (forms of bread), design and presentations discussed and experimented with, but commonalities amongst almost all of those. Two of those commonalities stood out.

      First up, the spread goes on the bread. Whether you are using mayonnaise, butter, olive oil, or some other, this ingredient is intended to help the bread pass more smoothly (remember, bread was not always the very refined thing we view it as today in certain parts of the world) and is not intended normally as a flavor additive.

      Second, the mustard goes on the meat. Whatever condiment one uses beyond the spread, is intended to flavor the filling. Cranberries on turkey, mustard on ham, or beef, or chicken, or turkey for that matter (in that sandwich, I would leave the cranberries out), or whatever your cuisine inspires.

      This comment is aimed at the multitudes of inept sandwich makers in the commercial world, who once determining that you want mustard and mayonnaise on your sandwich proceed to slather one side of the bread with mayo, and the other with mustard, failing to consider the storied history and craft of professional sandwich making.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2014 @ 4:10pm

    So if my sub roll isn't cut in half it isn't a submarine sandwich ? it's a hoagie really but demographics in this case don't much matter.

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    • icon
      TRX (profile), 22 Nov 2014 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      ...except when it's a "grinder", or a "torpedo", or a "hero" sandwich... while there may be some foodies who have some kind of specific definitions to fit each name, what I'm served is always a sliced roll with meat and vegetables inside; as far as I'm concerned, they're all interchangeable.

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  • icon
    Coyoty (profile), 22 Nov 2014 @ 9:05pm

    Flowers are red...

    Sandwiches must be baloney and cheese and mayo and white bread. They don't need to be anything else. It confuses the children.

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  • icon
    Coyoty (profile), 22 Nov 2014 @ 11:21pm

    Well if you want to spoil them, I suppose that can be considered a dessert sandwich. But the safest thing is to only feed them baloney.

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  • identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 23 Nov 2014 @ 7:10pm

    ...and another thing.

    I don't think Unilever has any problems. They have some "extra" bits. They have the necessary and sufficient elements of Mayo whereas that lying Vegan company does not. They even confuse the issue further by putting a big picture of the missing ingredient on the front of their package.

    The typical liberal media narrative of "the underdog is the good guy" simply doesn't work here.

    Unilever is simply doing what the feds should have done already.

    No foodie anywhere (including) Vegans should put up with this crap. It's insulting.

    "You are stupid ignorant gits and we can take advantage of you at will."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Nov 2014 @ 5:47am

      Re: ...and another thing.

      "The typical liberal media narrative of "the underdog is the good guy" simply doesn't work here."


      Nice soap box you got there, what is this liberal media of which you speak?

      Most uses of the terms liberal and conservative do so because the source does not regurgitate the desired extreme talking points.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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