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Irish Court Rules Subway Bread Is Not Bread

Judge finds that sugar content of US chain’s sandwiches exceeds stipulated limit and they should thus be classified as confectionery

Those wrestling with the great culinary-philosophical dilemmas of our time – are jaffa cakes actually cakes or just up-themselves biscuits, is putting chorizo in paella really an act of gastronomic terrorism, and what kind of monster doesn’t love Marmite? – can give thanks to the Irish supreme court. Earlier this week, it brought clarity to an important, if less bitterly contested, debate.

In a judgment published on Tuesday, the court ruled that the bread served at Subway, the US chain that hawks giant sandwiches in 110 countries and territories, could not in fact be defined as bread because of its high sugar content.

The ruling followed an appeal by Bookfinders Ltd, Subway’s Irish franchisee. The company had argued that the bread used in Subway sandwiches counted as a staple food and was consequently exempt from VAT.

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