I have some cut up chicken placed in a hotdog bun with sauce and veggies. Can it be called a "roll"?

Since I saw a photo of a lobster roll, and it's lobster meat also placed in a hotdog bun.

  • IMO, you can call your roll a roll. – Max Jul 5 '17 at 17:37
  • I'm guessing this is too broad to answer. – Nat Bowman Jul 5 '17 at 21:53
  • Wikipedia has a list of different rolled foods, all of them are called "roll", so I'd say it's a broad definition. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rolled_foods – Luciano Jul 6 '17 at 10:02

"Roll" is an extremely broad culinary term without a single canonical definition. You can very likely call your preparation a "chicken roll" and nobody would object.

In American cuisine, the term "roll" used on its own is often short for "dinner roll", a type of leavened single-serving bread:

dinner roll

Used in combination with another food ("[x] roll") the term usually denotes some form of sandwich, although confusingly few of these use a dinner roll as the bread. Here's the "lobster roll" that you reference, which usually uses a hot dog bun or similar:

lobster roll

Similar terms often denote sandwich-like foods where the bread is "rolled" around the fillings, like this "chicken roll":

chicken roll

There's also the "pepperoni roll", which takes this even further into a tightly rolled spiral which is then baked:

pepperoni roll

The term "roll-up" is also sometimes used for this kind of spiral roll, especially when the result is sliced and served as an appetizer or finger food:


New Jersey also has a local specialty called a "pork roll", which isn't rolled at all:

pork roll

So as you can see, "roll" can be used to describe a wide variety of foods that involve bread, and sometimes fillings, which are sometimes rolled, and sometimes not. If you want to call your creation a roll, there's nothing stopping you.

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  • Thanks for the generous answer, @logophobe. The last one cracked me up. Anyway, I was this close to calling my creation "chicken long bun". – wearashirt Jul 7 '17 at 4:50
  • At a guess, the second and the last examples are "rolls" because the bun is rounded, rolled, it is a kind of bread roll. The round rolls in your first example are quite common, but I think oval or elongated rolls are enough a thing that hotdog buns aren't a stretch. And, well, a bun is even defined as a kind of bread roll - so the definitions are "on a bread roll" or "flat food but rolled up", which doesn't seem too bad. – Megha Jul 7 '17 at 20:46

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