Is Kelly Ripa’s gigantic PB&J birthday cake a sandwich?

Illustration for article titled Is Kelly Ripa’em/ems gigantic PBJ birthday cake a sandwich?
Screenshot: LIVE With Kelly And Ryan

There are concepts that intrigue us here at The Takeout. Is there such a thing as too much pepperoni on a pizza? Do we eat soup or do we drink soup? Is Milwaukee-style pizza a thing? What’s bologna? But nothing, nothing has captured our imagination, nay, consumed our minds so much as the question of what, exactly, constitutes a sandwich. And today, we are perplexed by this cake.

The cake in question, created by pastry chef Michael Lechowicz of Brooklyn’s Charlotte Patisserie, was made of pound cake, peanut butter, and strawberry jelly (per People). It has a bottom layer, filling in the middle, and a top layer. It was given to Kelly Ripa in honor of her 48th birthday.

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Luckily, we have the perfect resource at hand. A source of wisdom and good. An undeniable authority on the subject.

We beg you, tell us: Is this giant freakin’ PB&J cake a sandwich?


Normally, this is where the interview would go, but this time around, answers will go in the comments. Instead, we offer several points for you to consider.

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  • Is pound cake an acceptable “bread”?
  • What baked goods can be used as the sandwiching element of a sandwich?
  • Does size matter here? If something is so large it must be sliced and shared, is it no longer a sandwich? If so, does that make those giant party subs not sandwiches?
  • Again, on size, if the vastness of this creation is a concern, would a giant grilled cheese sandwich also no longer be a sandwich? If not, what is it?
  • Can a cake also be a sandwich?
  • Can a sandwich also be a cake?
  • Are all sandwiches savory?
  • Is a macaron a sandwich?
  • What about a breakfast sandwich made with donuts?
  • What about two pieces of bread with frosting in the middle and a birthday candle on top?
  • What if, instead of peanut butter and jelly, this thing were filled with hot dogs?

We await your response.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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DISCUSSION

  • Is pound cake an acceptable “bread”?

No. Cake is not bread.

  • What baked goods can be used as the sandwiching element of a sandwich?

Bread and breadlike materials. Sweet or savory is not a factor, but it must be of a structural composition that allows a person to layer fillings and pick it up and eat it without a fork.

  • Does size matter here? If something is so large it must be sliced and shared, is it no longer a sandwich? If so, does that make those giant party subs not sandwiches?

Size doesn’t matter, as long as sliced chunks can be eaten by hand.

  • Again, on size, if the vastness of this creation is a concern, would a giant grilled cheese sandwich also no longer be a sandwich? If not, what is it?

Still a sandwich

  • Can a cake also be a sandwich?

No, because cake is generally too soft to both support layered fillings and to be eaten by hand.

  • Can a sandwich also be a cake?

Yes, if it embodies cake-like criteria: light texture and sweet. Hard to do with structural concerns.

  • Are all sandwiches savory?

Nah, the best grilled cheese is Camembert and bacon with fancy jam.

  • Is a macaron a sandwich?

by the above rules, yes.

  • What about a breakfast sandwich made with donuts?

Yes.

  • What about two pieces of bread with frosting in the middle and a birthday candle on top?

Yes. Gross.

  • What if, instead of peanut butter and jelly, this thing were filled with hot dogs?

Still couldn’t pick it up and eat it because the pound cake wouldn’t support the dogs. Not a sandwich.