Irish Court rules that Subway bread isn’t bread

An Irish court has ruled that Subway’s loaves of “so-called” bread contain too much sugar to legally classify as bread.

Something about culinary arguments brings out a joyous passion in people, as we found out earlier this year with an argument over the validity of boneless wings. Whether we are arguing about pineapple on pizza or whether a quesadilla is a sandwich, people get fired up.

In today’s latest development, an Irish court has ruled that the delicious outer layer of a Subway sandwich is, in fact, not technically bread.

Subway's Bread
Photo: Sahil Patel

In a judgment passed down on September 29th, the court ruled that the bread in Subway sandwiches contains too much sugar to be officially classified as bread.

In the court’s ruling, they specified that bread was “fat, sugar, and bread improver… [and it] shall not exceed 2 per cent of the weight of flour included in the dough.” Turns out that Subway’s bread exceeds this by a long shot, with their dough consisting of 10 per cent sugar.

The case was brought to the court by Subway’s Irish franchisee Bookfinders, who were appealing to have Subway’s bread exempt from VAT (the Irish equivalent of Australia’s GST).

The ruling follows a case in February of this year, ruling that food VAT rates could not be applied to aphrodisiacs and libido-stimulating pills at UK sex shops, as they did not provide the body with nutrients and were, therefore, not classified as food.

The questions this all begs is if Subway bread is, in fact, not bread, what is it? Cake? Or is it now a beast of its own, undefined by conventional food standards, existing only to encase meatballs and smell delicious.