New Survey Reveals America's Top Choice For Sandwich Bread

What makes a sandwich a sandwich? That sounds like a simple enough question, right? Well, that depends on who's asking and why. In an interview with NPR, Mark Wheeler, a food safety employee at the United States Department of Agriculture, defined a sandwich as "a meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun, or a biscuit." 

The USDA's definition aside, we know a sandwich when we see one. It may or may not include meat or poultry, because vegetarians and vegans eat sandwiches, too! (After all, who's going to argue that a vegan eggplant BLT isn't a sandwich?) Although definitions of a sandwich may vary, most people can agree food stuck between two pieces of bread qualifies as a sandwich. But what about those bread slices?

Busby's Bakery explains that your bread choice may be dictated by the kind of sandwich you're making. Panini, for example, frequently call for ciabatta, a sturdy bread with a crisp crust; Whole wheat bread, with its earthy aromas and taste, is the perfect complement to strong flavors like ripe cheeses. But we were curious to know what kind of bread people prefer overall when making sandwiches. 615 of you living in the U.S. responded to our survey, offering up an answer to our most pressing lunchtime question.

It's close, any way you slice it

In a Tasting Table survey, the choices for types of sandwich bread were white, whole wheat, sourdough, rye, French baguette, and ciabatta. The favorite, by a thinly-sliced margin, is sourdough.

Roughly 25% of the total 615 respondents (that's 156 people, for those keeping track at home) prefer sourdough bread for sandwiches. The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts explains sourdough is a great top sandwich choice because the "subtle tang and hearty weight" make it the ideal counterpart for just about any ingredients.

In a close second, whole wheat was chosen by about 24% of those polled, with white bread ranked third with almost 23% of votes. So while sourdough did ultimately reign supreme, it seems it was a hard choice to make.

The bottom rankings were fairly close together as well: French baguettes garnered roughly 12% of votes, rye bread came in fifth with about 9% (or 54) of people polled choosing it as their top sandwich option, and ciabatta finished last with just under 8%.

Each kind of bread brings its own unique textures and flavors to a sandwich, so while we respect the top sourdough vote, we're glad all the options are available for our sandwich needs.