Everyone knows Subway, the brand that makes the 6 inch or foot-long sandwiches that we all know and love. Shockingly, these sandwiches may not even be actual sandwiches. The Ireland Supreme Court has ruled Subway bread not even to be bread! According to the Irish definition of bread, it’s considered too sugary to be bread. The Irish law states that the fat, sugar, and bread improver can not add up to more than 2% of the flour’s weight included in the dough. Some breads that are considered more of a dessert than bread are banana bread, lemon bread, cinnamon bread, and pumpkin bread. In Subway’s bread, sugar makes up to 10% of the weight of the flour. But why is this such a big argument? In Ireland, they have something called a VAT, value-added tax, similar to those in the US. Certain foods are taxed, and certain foods are not. For example, things that are considered staple foods do not get taxed. One example of these staple foods are bread, and since sandwiches are a bread-based product, that would make sandwiches a staple food. Subway could have lied about their bread being bread because that would let them avoid the tax. This statement will not just affect Subway. Many other companies also don’t apply to this definition of bread. Companies like Quiznos will also be affected by this ruling.
Although this may be true, is it correct to say that Subway bread isn’t bread? It tastes like bread, it looks like bread, and it feels like bread. It turns out that although the Ireland Supreme Court is correct that it does not apply to the law’s standard of bread, it is Ireland’s definition that is different, not Subway’s. Many other countries use a much simpler explanation, which is just, “consists of a dough made from flour and water, with or without other ingredients, which has been fermented by yeast or otherwise leavened and subsequently baked or partly baked.” Subway’s bread definitely applies to these standards, but which one is correct? I would personally say that Ireland’s standards are slightly outdated because their definition excludes many breads, which are, in fact, actually staple foods. In Japan, they have a bread called milk bread, which can have up to 20% of the weight sugar. Papers in Ireland even say that milk bread is considered a bread. I would say that although by Irish law, subway bread is not bread, subway bread is still bread to the rest of the world.