It looks like bread.  It tastes like bread.  It smells like bread.  But - according to the Irish Supreme Court, the food substance that Subway serves it's sandwich fillings in isn't legally bread - at least not by their countries definition.

According to a recent ruling by the Irish Supreme Court, the "bread-like-substance" can't be sold as bread in their country.  The ruling is most-important because bread is categorized as a staple food and is exempt from a "Value Added Tax" (or VAT) that Ireland places on non-staple food items. Food products sold that don't fall under the staple category are slapped with  the higher taxes - making the final purchase price higher for consumers.

At issue is the high-level of sugar content.  News sources share:

The bread’s sugar content – five times the qualifying limit under the act – means that it falls outside of the legal definition of a staple food. The ruling included white and wholegrain bread. The definition serves to differentiate bread from other baked goods.

It should be noted that this tax-dilemma is occurring in Ireland (i.e. not the United States) and that Irish officials aren't saying that the sandwiches sold at Subway aren't edible or food.  The issue is simply the age-old fight over taxes.  In the United States, taxes on food items is handled differently from state to state.  According to, 32 states fully-exempt food items from taxation, with an additional six states taxing food - but at a lower rate.  Some states include non-staple items like candy and soda while other don't.

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