Saturday, November 11, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Okay, this post has absolutely nothing to do with insurance, but hey, it’s the weekend, so what the heck:

Is a burrito a sandwich?

The Panera Bread Co. bakery-and-cafe chain says yes. But a judge said no, ruling against Panera in its bid to prevent a Mexican restaurant from moving into the same shopping mall…

"A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," Locke wrote in a decision released last week.

Apparently, the Panera at this particular mall has a clause in its lease that prohibits another “sandwich shop.” Their contention is that a burrito is a sandwich, meaning that Qdoba (the Mexican eatery at issue here) is outta luck.

I don’t know: the folks at Slashfood say “A sandwich is any kind of food that you can combine with another kind of food and/or condiment and eat it while holding it in your hand…sometimes (especially in these carb-counting times), a sandwich can be made without bread.

On the other hand, “The first recorded sandwich was by the famous rabbi, Hillel the Elder, who lived during the 1st century B.C. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs.” (At our family’s seder, we call this a “Hillel Big Boy") Since matzah is unleavened bread, this would seem to settle the question in favor of the ubiquitous bakery/café.

On the gripping hand, Sandwich is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 20,136 at the 2000 census.

I guess that doesn’t really help much.

I tend to side with the judge here; if a burrito is a sandwich, then so is a crepe, a blintz, and moo shoo. Just because a food can be held and eaten with one hand doesn’t mean it’s a sandwich (ice cream or otherwise).

Bon appetit!


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