Sunday, May 19, 2024

Are burritos and tacos considered sandwiches? Judge makes polarizing decree

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That’s a wrap.

An Indiana judge has seemingly settled the highly-disputed sandwich definition debate after ruling that tacos and burritos fit the bill during a recent legal case.

“Tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches,” hero-ic Allen Superior Judge Craig J. Bobay declared in the ruling, per a court document blowing up online.

The wrap battle was sparked in 2022 after restaurateur Martin Quintana unveiled plans to open his restaurant The Famous Taco Mexican Grill in the 11,000-square-foot Quintana strip mall in Fort Wayne, CBS 4 reported.

The Allen County Planning commission rejected his bid based on a prior “written commitment” which Quintana had accepted with a neighborhood housing association.

“The original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches,” said Allen Superior Judge Craig J. Bobay. Allen Superior Court

Per the agreement, the only restaurants allowed at this facility were ones that didn’t serve alcohol, prohibited outdoor seating and only sold “made-to-order or subway style sandwiches.”

This measure was designed to keep national fast food chains such as such as McDonalds out of the shopping center.

However, the court ruled in Quintana’s favor on Monday on the grounds that the proposed Famous Taco restaurant fit the definition outlined in the original “Written Commitment.”

What constitutes a sandwich has been a contentious subject in culinary circles. Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Judge Bobay ruled that tacos and burritos are Mexican-style sandwiches, adding that “the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches.”

He added that it also allowed an establishment that “serves made-to-order Greek gyros, Indian naan wraps, or Vietnamese Banh mi if these restaurants complied with the other enumerated conditions.”

It’s yet unclear when Famous Taco will open its doors to the public.

Many gourmands have decreed that a taco cannot be a sandwich as the latter is by definition, sandwiched between two slices of bread. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Whether or not tacos or burritos constitute a sandwich has been a contentious subject online. Many armchair epicures on Quora claimed that a taco can’t by definition be considered a sandwich as it has a flour wrapper and not the requisite two slices of bread.

“The sandwich was born in Europe,” declared one internet food aficionado referring to the ubiquitous nosh’s alleged invention in the 18th century by the Earl of Sandwich in the UK. “The very essence of a sandwich is two slices of bread with something in the middle, usually a meat filling.”

Meanwhile, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the eat as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” Therefore, a tortilla-based treat would seemingly not fit the bill.

Interestingly, New York sparked major controversy in culinary circles after listing burritos alongside hoagies, hot dogs, and gyros as “sandwiches” that are subject to sales tax.

No word as to whether they’ll include a sushi roll — a similar carbohydrate treat with a meat filling — under this umbrella as well.

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