I'm an order taker so when someone asked me: "What's inside this sandwich?" or "What's on this Pizza?", can I use following words for the description (regardless if they are verbs or nouns):

  • has components (of x, y and z)
  • does contain (x, y and z)
  • consists of (x, y and z)
  • is made out of the ingredients (x, y and z)

Note: The sandwich is cooked and ready to eat, so they don't ask about the ingredients of the bread itself (like salt, flour, yeast, etc.)

Do you have any other words that you would like to suggest to add to my vocabulary?

3 Answers 3


I don't disagree with Michael's answer, but I think you could shorten it further & keep your wording consistent.

As said, a sandwich has a filling, a pizza has a topping [except calzone]

"What inside this sandwich?"

"The sandwich has bacon, lettuce and tomato."

"What's on this Pizza?"

"The pizza has cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms."

You wouldn't really need to specify in or on, topping or filling - the customer already knows where it will be, they just want to know what it will be.

You could abbreviate it even more if the customer was only asking one of the questions, not both...

"What's on this Pizza?"

"Cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms."

A native wouldn't waste energy by re-stating any of the question in the answer if it wasn't necessary. They would use context alone.


A sandwich has a filling. A pizza has a topping. This sandwich's filling is (or consists of -rather bookish) ham, cheese and onion. This pizza's topping is/consists of tomatoes, anchovies, mushrooms, and cheese. A sandwich or pizza order taker would usually say a filling or topping 'is' rather than 'consists of' (whatever). There is a type of folded pizza, called a calzone, and in this case the 'topping' on the baked sheet of dough could be called a filling. It's simpler in Italian, where the added ingredients are called condimenti for either type.

  • You can actually have a pizza with a filling: google.it/…:
    – user29952
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 20:52
  • 1
    You mean a calzone. Anglos think of pizzas as flat things. The OP described being asked "What's on this pizza?" Commented May 28, 2018 at 20:54
  • Yes, but the are variants, and calzone or rolls have fillings
    – user29952
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 20:55
  • I would go with is and forget consists.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 23:27
  • Au contraire: the word *condimento" does not mean the fillings, toppings or components of a dish, but rather dressings and sauces like ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condiment & it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condimento Commented May 10, 2023 at 1:52
  1. The noun component should get used when referring to single dishes in a whole menu, as it in general means self sustaining parts of an system, e.g. a pump of a washing machine.
  2. The verb to contain is completely valid: The subject is in every case the whole dish as it gets ordered. So you do not need to worry it actually is a filling, topping or "pre-cooked ingredients". Also you can use it subjunctive while listing all relevant allergens. It is even comprehensive enough to refer to a skewer holding everything in place ;)
  3. The same goes for the verb to consist as well, but as it is exhaustive you would make the claim that your answer will include every ingredient used, so I would personally try to avoid it in the context of food if i do not want to either pass a recipe nor to act specifically degrading: "The so called "loaf" consisted of a gooey substance which tasted and smelled disgustingly"

You could use many unusual words in a metaphorical way as well, be a bit exaggerating and say "this delicious art was composed of ... "

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