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Difference between a Burger and a Sandwich??

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I have been in a long running discussion with some fellow Chefs and Food Scientists about the difference between a Hamburger and a Sandwich. I was wondering if any of you wanted to throw your hat in the mix and offer a definition between the two and clearly label the differences.

It is my opinion that they are different, a sandwich is served on sliced bread, a burger on a sliced bun. If you look on any restaurant menu they are listed in seperate sections and labeled differently.

Now your turn.....
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #2 of 53
I'd have to disagree. If we accept your definition, then any sandwich-like meal would be excluded. Tuna salad on a roll; cold cuts on a hogie bun; mufalatta (sp?), filled gougere, pulled pork & cole slaw on a bun, etc. None of these would be sandwiches.

To me, a sandwich is anything that's served as a filling between two pieces of breadstuff, no matter what form the bread takes.

As to hamburgers being listed separately: That's because hamburgers are treated as the Great American sandwich, and restaurants have a menu of them. If there was only one hamburger served in a particular place, instead of a selection of them, there's no doubt in my mind that it would be listed with the other sandwiches.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 53
I agree, in todays terms a sandwich comes on a slice of bread, and a burger comes with a bun.

But if you look at the origins of the word 'hamburger' it comes from Hamburg steak, which originated in the German city of Hamburg. Contrary to what folk etymology might lead one to believe, there is no actual 'ham' in a hamburger.

The word sandwich may have come from one who was in a sandwich for time and wanted something quick to eat so he asked for some meat to be brought between two slices of bread.

So yes, they both have different meanings, but in today's understanding the bun and the slice of bread are all the difference.
post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 
But KYHeirloomer, would you then call a Tuna salad on a roll a Tuna Burger or would it be a Tuna Salad Sandwich? In the opposite would you call ground beef grilled served on two pieces of sliced white bread a ground beef or hamburger sandwich? COld cuts on a hoagie depending upon where you are may be a grinder, a hoagie or a sub. A Muffaletta is a specific type of sandwich that is served on a specific type of bread and any deviation from that is no longer a Mufalleta.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #5 of 53
The burger is a sandwich. I See it listed with sandwiches on menus frequently. Dictionaries define hamburger as a particular form of sandwich.

Many classic sandwiches are served on rolls or buns rather than just "bread". Consider the entire class of submarine sandwiches and the buns used rather than just bread.

Go into a grocery store. Stroll down the bread aisle. You'll find sandwich buns labeled as such.

While meat between bread has ancient origins, the term sandwich originates with the Earl of Sandwich who was a devout gambler and hated interrupting his games for meals.
post #6 of 53
But it is still a sandwich.
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Based on the definition you have given a Porpoise is then a fish and not a mammal since it lives in the ocean with "fish".
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #8 of 53
A hamburger is the meat between the bun or the bread. As phatch said, it's often described as a hamburger sandwich.

I've seen hamburgers served between slices of rye bread, on baguettes, white bread, challah rolls, and many other types of bread.

Some restaurants here serve a "hamburger steak" or platter. It's a large amount of meat - 1/2-lb, served on a plate, not between slices of bread, along with vegetables, salad, etc. But it's still a hamburger.
Lance
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Lance
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post #9 of 53
The perils of analogy.

The discussion here is conflating a couple of different things and treating them as one thing. Language and food are not the same things.

It is useful to use language to describe and define food but they both exist separate of each other and so there are times when one is poorly served by the other.

Outside of English, this discussion would be rather different as sandwich is distinctly English. Rather other difficulties would arise.

Returning to the porpoise and fish, let us consider it this way:

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species

Porpoise and trout are in the same kingdom, probably the same phylum, but I think they separate in Class (my Biology class was a long time ago).

Anyway, to bring this analogy to food, Sandwich is a fairly high level category and hamburger is way down in that category probably at the genus level with the variations at the species level. Muffeleta is a completely different genus and species while all being sandwiches.
post #10 of 53
I like patty melts.

Nobody calls them hamburgers anymore. Now they're called burgers.

I think from now on I will refer to them as hamburgerwiches.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 53
>Based on the definition you have given a Porpoise is then a fish and not a mammal since it lives in the ocean with "fish". <

All analogies are falacious, Chefhow. But that one is a particularly long stretch.

Phil didn't say the buns made a sandwich because they lived with the bread. He said they were called sandwich buns, right on the package. And so they are. Hamburger buns are identified that way because they are a sandwich bun whose dough type is most often used to make hamburger sandwiches. In other words, "hamburger bun" is a subset of the general population "sandwich bun."

Now then, if you want to get technical, the hamburger is just the meat component of the sandwich. But because the burger is most usually served on a bun, instead of with other types of bread, we often use culinary shorthand and order the hamburger sandwich by just saying, "burger." But it's a sandwich nontheless.

No, I would not call a tuna salad sandwich a tuna burger. But, in current usage, anything shaped into a patty and cooked like a hamburger carries the "burger" name: tuna burgers, vegetable burgers, etc. Are you saying they are not sandwiches?

>A Muffaletta is a specific type of sandwich that is served on a specific type of bread and any deviation from that is no longer a Mufalleta. <

You prove my point. A Muffaletta isn't served on a specific type of bread. It's served on a specific type of roll. And, according to you, that would make it different from a sandwhich, because your definition says it has to be sliced bread.

Somebody mentioned patty melts. A great addition to the discussion. Patty melts are hamburgers and other stuff between two slices of bread. So where does that leave you? I'ts no longer a hamburger, because it isn't served on a bun. But it isn't a sandwhich, either, cuz it's usually listed in the separate menu section devoted to burgers.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 53
A Hamburger is a ground meat patty usually beef served between two pieces of bread, or a roll with assorted condiments on side


A Sandwich is usually any cheese or coldcut or filling served between 2 pieces of bread or roll.

It is said sandwiches were invented so that the card players could keep playing cards and holding them while still eating ., but then again this could apply to a lot of other uses of eating with 1 hand.. Lord Montaign in the middle ages liked this method so therefore it was named sandwich. He did not invent it.

Any opinion or answer that anyone has stated could be deemed correct, as none of us were there.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #13 of 53
a tuna melt, in my experience, is typically served open face. there goes the whole "between the bread" theory.

"burger" aka "hamburger" as I see it refers to the meat thingie. ground meat shaped into a flat roundish "thing"

turkey burger, tofu burger (is that ground?), bison burger, ostrich burger . . .
chicken - perhaps except for McD - gets done as a chunk of non-ground breast meat - and gosh, it's usually labelled a 'sandwich' - not a 'burger'

fish anyone? again except for the fast food 'uniformity' issues, typically not a ground up reconstituted 'chunk of fish' - a fillet on a roll - and labeled "Fish Burger" - not.

when you say "Honey I'm going to grill the burgers now!" does that mean you're putting the bread - whatever shape or form - on the grill?

grinders, anyone?

the hamburger coming from Hamburg, Germany, is akin to the hotdog aka frankfurter coming from Frankfurt, Germany (am Main, anyone? there's more than one Frankfurt in Germany . . .)

so then there's the Earl of Sandwich and the Earl of Salibury - steak what?
another can of Worms - but that drags in Freedom Fries.......
post #14 of 53
I'm with Phatch....
a hamburger, patty melt, burger are sandwiches.
not all sandwiches are burgers.

open face and finger are still types of sandwiches.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 53
Count me with 'shroom, KY, Phatch, Ed and Kouki.

Another unnecessary example: A barbecued (pulled) pork sandwich is properly served on a "hamburger" roll with slaw and a mustard-vinegar sauce. (Okay, some poor souls prefer a red, vinegar sauce). Setting aside for the nonce the apostasy of red sauce, the bun doesn't make it a hamburger or keep it from being a sandwich.

BDL

Tres Sophisticated MID-CAROLINAS 'Q SAUCE

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dijon mustard
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Chinese white rice vinegar
1/4 cup real maple syrup, or more to taste
2 tbs Louisiana or chipotle hot sauce, or more to taste
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce

Technique:
Mix.

Loves you some 'q.
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #16 of 53
Me thinks this is sort of a "a splitting of hairs" and since I have nothing that even closely resembles a hair on my head.......... I've got nothing to split.:crazy:
I would add that a looooooong time a go in a land far, far away.....I had this discussion with several other culinarians and there was a very good reason or explanation made by a couple of us on why a burger was not or should not be classified as a sandwich. But since it was soooooo long ago my memory fails me on exactly why. Yet I do remember we finally had to agree to disagree.:bounce:

By the way....We have something here called a Baloney Burger. No....I don't mean being full of it but a real burger made out of a rather thick slice (almost an inch) of all beef Bologna on a grilled sesame seed bun with the works. Have yet to try one.:rolleyes:;)
post #17 of 53
Sort of like a pastrami burger. Is it a pastrami sandwich with a burger added or a burger with a pastrami sandwich added. :D:D

Neither of course.
post #18 of 53
What's a panini?

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #19 of 53
Probably right there with the cuban as a pressed sandwich.
post #20 of 53
laymens terms: a squished, grilled sandwich. A panini press, grills and squishes at the same time. Now this is what I understand a panini to be.
So many Flavors; So little time. Taste your way through life.
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So many Flavors; So little time. Taste your way through life.
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post #21 of 53
Speaking as somebody who is a comic book fan, this is the dorkiest thread ever. I mean that in a good way. The culinary equivalent of "who would win in a fight, The Hulk or The Mighty Thor."

--Al
post #22 of 53
Where do you draw the sandwich line?

Pita? For me, no it's still used in sandwiches.

tortilla? I'm split on this one. Flour tortilla I lean toward including as a sandwich but not the corn tortilla. Sort of hypocritical there aren't I. I'm not sold on this one way or the other for sure though. I couldn't call enchiladas a sandwich casserole in they way I've seen Reuben Casseroles. But whither the corn tortilla taco? That too is very sandwichy.

Is a Chinese filled bun a sandwich? bao?

Is peking duck in mandarin pancakes then a sandwich? Taxonomically, I want to say no, but it does have all the characteristics of a sandwich I would use for calling a flour tortilla wrap a sandwich.

This may be like the word salad that labels things but is difficult to rigorously and consistently define.

Phil
post #23 of 53
This whole thing between the hamburger and sandwich is kind of like the chicken and the egg thing. right? Well as I understand it, a sandwich is anything that is between two pieces of bread with a sauce and a garnish. Now there are different categories labeled under sandwiches such as hot sandwiches and cold sandwiches. To me a hamburger would fall under a hot sandwich classification, whereas a tuna salad sandwich might fall under a cold sandwich classification. I am not saying you can not make a hot tuna sandwich, which I have done that making a type of tuna patty with cream cheese in it and served that on a potato bread roll with fresh arugula and tomato. Now within those two classification one could even break that down further into several groups, such as subs, grinders, gyros and roll type sandwiches.
So many Flavors; So little time. Taste your way through life.
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So many Flavors; So little time. Taste your way through life.
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post #24 of 53
I do know what a panini is, I eat at least half a dozen a month for lunch from the Mediterranean deli near the shop. That's the place on 39th South and State Street in case you're wondering, P. Hatch.

Basically I was just poking fun at the useless frivolity of this whole thread. Indigenous starch encasing indigienous protein has no doubt been a culinary mainstay most everywhere on the planet since, well, like forever, no matter what you call it.

I was thinking this thread was pretty useless, why on earth would anyone care that much about minor details? Then I read another post which reminded me how annoyed I get when folks confuse the verb marinate with the noun marinade. Sheesh.

One of the best lunches I've had in my life was in Hamburg. It didn't involve ground beef.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #25 of 53
Old cookbooks from the 40s and 50s contain recipes for Hamburger Sandwiches. These recipes are for patties with ingredieants that resemble meat loaf, but are fried instead of baked. Don't know when this changed to the pure meat patty we use now. Fun to read these old books and see how they reflect the times they were written in. After WW II, the trendy thing was the macaroni ring for a main dish. This was cooked macaroni pressed into a ring mold and then unmolded on the serving plate and the center filled with some type of vegetable and meat mixture. Sort of a deconstructed hot dish I guess.
post #26 of 53
>which I have done that making a type of tuna patty with cream cheese in it and served that on a potato bread roll with fresh arugula and tomato. <

Don't care if you call it a sandwich or not, ChefAllen, that sounds good.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #27 of 53
I feel as long as you enjoy it and it's good what is the difference. Everyone here is assumed correct in their definitions.:)
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #28 of 53
Escoffier had it easy. He got to name everything officially first without anyone to argue with him.

Phil
post #29 of 53
gutteral laugh......bet anything CHEF Escoffier had many long conversations with contemporaries or sous staff or foodies or editors about defining shtuff....but then that was when omnipotence was channeled with the word chef.

dorkiness, well yeah.....but isn't it fun to think out your philosophy on sandwiches, what defines a sandwich in your mind (and others) what fits the definition but for a mydrid of reasons is an exception.....it's an exercise that is fun, nothing less.

Sandwiches:
bbq, burger, panini, open face, baked with goo (hot brown) po boy, grinder, sub, meatball, gyro....

Not Sandwiches:
bao,empanadas,turnovers,dang name is not coming to me but the folded over pizza, tacos, peking duck

On the fence: quesadilla....though I'd probably vote "not"

1" of fried bologna? ugh. 1/4" possibly 1/2" but an 1"......:crazy:

Cajuns have a bizarre french fry po boy with gravy and cheese....heart attack in a napkin.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #30 of 53
Calzone.


Error message said my reply was too short so this was added.
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