Nov 10, 2006

wraps, sandwiches, burritos, gyros, and the law

Via Obscure Store, one of the more interesting legal rulings to come down in recent memory.
The burrito brouhaha began when Panera, one of the country's biggest bakery cafes, argued that owners of the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury violated a 2001 lease agreement that restricted the mall from renting to another sandwich shop. When the center signed a lease this year with Qdoba, Panera balked, saying the Mexican chain's burritos violate its sandwich exclusivity clause.

Not so, Qdoba countered, submitting affidavits from high-profile experts in the restaurant and food industry. "I know of no chef or culinary historian who would call a burrito a sandwich," Schlesinger said in his affidavit. "Indeed, the notion would be absurd to any credible chef or culinary historian."

In his ruling, Locke cited Webster's definition of a sandwich and explained that the difference comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla: "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," he wrote....

Judith A. Quick, who previously worked as a deputy director of the Standards and Labeling Division at the US Department of Agriculture, said in her affidavit: "The USDA views a sandwich as a separate and distinct food product from a burrito or taco."
We'll never mind wraps, hot dogs, gyros, and other gray areas. If we can't distinguish a sandwich from a burrito, there is no hope for us. Period.

1 comment:

Murky Thoughts said...

An important decision building on the foundation of Frigaliment v. BNS, which resolved what chicken is. Now we just need lettuce and tomato.