An empanada debate….

Red & Blue = phil

Green= Bryan

Magenta=Me…. Start at the bottom and work your way up…..

Since when did I call this definition yours?

Here: “So if I were to put two piece of bread inside an empanada, by your “definition”, it would be a sandwich.”

But you just said a monte cristo is a sandwich…you said an empanada dough around a sandwich is a sandwich, so how was I wrong?

You also said I could put picadillo between bread and call it a sandwich, so how is a “regular” picadillo empanada with bread not a sandwich by what

you’re saying? I really don’t think I misinterpreted you. Maybe you read it wrong or I said it slightly incorrectly?

So it seems as if you’re predicating this unwillingness to call an empanada a sandwich based off the fact you don’t agree with using traditional empanada fillings between 2 pieces of bread. Seems pretty untenable to me.

You can put your empanada filling between 2 pieces of bread to make a sandwich. That’s fine.

Sloppy joe is a sandwich and picadillo, which is extremely similar to a sloppy joe filling, is the most popular empanada filling out there.

Why the double standard again?

See previous comment

I wouldn’t necesarially call an empanada a sandwich, but it possesses everything a sandwich is, and a little more, and therefore, in my opinion only, falls within the classification of sandwich.

No leg to stand on there. If it falls in your classification of sandwich, but you won’t call it a sandwich, then you’ve got issues.

No issue, its just a matter of semantics that you cant seem to handle. Im comfortable with it and don’t see the big deal.

Also, I said I “wouldn’t necesarially” not “wont”….in reference to “go into there and ask for a sandwich” comment. It was a little out of context.

The fact remains, despite the fact that its called an empanada and not a bocadillo, it shares so many traits with them, and improves on some of them (depending on who you ask and the situation) that it would seem to be in the same family as a bocadillo. I wonder what empanada would have translated to.

AND how about this. “Emapanada”

Its root comes from the Spanish words for Wrap and Bread.

Embalar & Pan


Square is a rectangle but rectangle isn’t a square.

A star isn’t a square. Both are shapes.

Its still clear we disagree, but the analogy was clear.

Still cant fully understand the unwillingness to except fried or baked dough as a bread. (next we’re going to debate the definition of bread)

Would it make you feel better if I cut the empanada in half along the seam?

Two separate pieces of bread, just like a traditional sandwich.

(obviously im being sarcastic in this last paragraph)

Sarcasm aside, I’d already given this some thought. You’re well into the grey area here. I could be okay with calling this a sandwich, but it’s a stretch. It is also, still, definitely an empanada.

If you want to revisit the shapes analogy for this case, then a trapezoid isn’t a rectangle. But in one obscure case, it can be.

Flabbergasted that my sarcasm hit a button

From: Philip M
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 1:40 PM
To: Bryan D; ‘Jeremy Dobish’

So if I were to put two piece of bread inside an empanada, by your “definition”, it would be a sandwich, just like a monte cristo.

Completely Lame and Closed minded.

The bread is the dough, nothing else needed.

Subset of sandwich

The empanada had something interesting happen to it during its invention too, it was a sandwich that didn’t require two conventional pieces of bread but instead could use dough to shape around the fillings. Dip it in what you want. No different than a monte cristo.

Layering is THE HEART of an empanada

Lay dough FLAT

Place filling on one side of dough

LAYER other half of dough ontop of filling and seal

I wont even get into the pizza with you

I’m a sandwich liberal and I do think an open face sandwich is still a subset of sandwich

Its clear we are agreeing to disagree on definitions.

From: Wilson, Bryan D
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 1:25 PM
To: Philip M; ‘Jeremy Dobish’

I am seriously way to busy for this right now… but:

No. Empanadas, burritos, and sandwiches are all subsets of a larger category that we unfortunately have no good word for. And there’s no need for a catch-all word, because nobody but Dobish would feel the need to talk about them all at once.

Yes, one can find some grey area between the aforementioned subsets, but that does not undermine my point. There will be always be grey areas when defining food – you can always go do something interesting to a standard and create something new.

A monte cristo is a sandwich that something interesting happened to. You start with a sandwich – then you do crazy stuff to it. You can dip it in chocolate, too… now you have a sandwich that you deep-fried and dipped in chocolate. And if you want to make a word for chocolate covered sandwiches, then be my guest, but it’s moving toward the grey area for sure.

Pizza Pie

Not a sandwich no matter what you do to it.

A calzone is not a sandwich, either.

“Stuffed pizza, probably a sandwich straight out of the oven.” Really???? I think Chris Schlesinger would disagree. You know, the guy who said this:

“I know of no chef or culinary historian who would call a burrito a sandwich. Indeed, the notion would be absurd to any credible chef or culinary historian.”

He would say the same thing about a stuffed pizza. For sure.

Also, layering is not a prereq for an empanada.

I hate arguments about definitions because they’re so damn arbitrary. Debates only really get fun once you agree on the definitions and work from there.

From: Philip M
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:52 PM
To: Bryan D; ‘Jeremy Dobish’

I still disagree

But whatever

Empanadas are a subset of sandwich

Two slices of bread is an elementary way to attack this problem

An empanada is largely a horizontally layered food item with fillings in between two layers of cooked dough.

Whats bread you ask?

Cooked dough.

Burritos fall short because theyre largely cylindrical and have little to now laminated structure.

Laminated structure / Sandwich Construction / Layer ontop of Layer

The layering in a taco is just all wrong

You cant take a single bit in any one local spot and get all the layers in your mouth at once

Take a bite from the open end, and you can more lettuce and cheese

Take a bite from the bottom closed end and you get just meat

Not a sandwich or in the spirit of one, but that doesn’t matter because it’s a Taco and a taco is its own form of food.

The layering in an empanada on the other hand, is much more sandwich like

Its designed so that you get a little of everything in every bite in any location.

Pies require utensils to eat and are not handheld unless you’re talking pies like a Mediterranean \ Middle Eastern pie, but that’s more of an empanada anyway.

Pizza pie

Not a sandwich unless you fold it or put 2 slices together

Stuffed pizza, probably a sandwich straight out of the oven

Calzone, empanada territory again.

Now, heres the real deal

Why would you consider a monte cristo, which is nothing more than bread battered and fried to make one pocket any different than an empanada?

See that?

Batter ALL THE WAY around the sandwich

No different than an empanada.

This email has killer material for you dobish

You had better use it and get blogging

From:  Bryan D
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:38 PM
To: ‘Jeremy Dobish’
Cc: Philip M

Yeah, a cold epanada sucks. But I don’t even care about that criterion. It’s all about bread.

From your referenced article:

“The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.”

I don’t think it’s even a tiny stretch of the imagination to generalize this statement to exclude empanadas from the sandwich designation. And pies, for that matter.

The bottom line is that you’re going to have to step it up, or you’ll have a rival sandwich blog to deal with. And mine will be awesome.

From: Jeremy
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:31 PM
To: Bryan D
Cc: Philip M

you ate part of one what? an empandada? the philz and I agree that they are sandwiches… please tell me how they are not.

and yes, my post from a few moments ago was also very week.. I need to keep the bar low… 🙂

writing thesises has hurted my brains.

On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM, Bryan Dwrote:

Ugh. Disagree. It’s like you’re trolling on your own blog.

It’s not a sandwich, dummy.

And I ate part of one cold. And it sucked. (luckily, toaster ovens are awesome)

From: Phil

Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:25 PM
To: Jeremy Dobish
Cc:  Bryan D


Excellent job on the empanada post

Sure took you long enough

What was that, like a month ago?

And that other post from today

Complete fail

I cant wait to hear how much shit dave gives you for it


One thought on “An empanada debate….

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