Irish Supreme Court Rules That Subway 'Bread' Isn't Legally Bread

From the folks who eat sandwiches filled with chips and ketchup. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Bread. What is it? Aside from "our one true love and saving grace," its form can be elusive. The FDA considers "bread" to be anything produced by baking a mixed yeast-leavened dough that contains flour, yeast, water, eggs, milk, and sweeteners. But the Ireland Supreme Court has its own notion, having just ruled that America's beloved Subway bread is actually more like cake.

According to The Independent, Ireland's Supreme Court ruled that Subway "bread" cannot be taxed as "bread," per se, but rather a “confectionary.” Why? In order for "bread" to be "bread" in Ireland, the amount of sugar in the dough must be 2% of the flour's weight. Subway's bread is 9.2%. 

The case started with Bookfinders Ltd., a Subway franchisee, that argued against paying a national sales tax -- or value added tax -- which staple foods like bread and milk are exempt from. To settle the case, the court had to decide whether or not Subway bread was considered a "discretionary indulgence." Criminally, there was no talk of the best Subway sandwich, or how well the chain's food holds up in delivery during the proceedings. If there had been, perhaps the outcome would be different. 

Now the Subway franchisees will have to pay the 13.5% value added tax for bread sales. Am I angry at Ireland? No, I'm perfectly fine and chill. I just think it's funny that the court disses our breads while allowing Irish citizens to eat sandwiches filled with chips and ketchup.

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to