Homemade is Better—The BLT

Here we are, article 100!  I’d like to start by thanking everyone who reads my articles.  You are the reason I keep going.  Even if only a small number of people get something out of these editorials, then it is still worthwhile to me!

I recently made this easy sandwich, and I thought I’d write I down.  Thousands of recipes exist about how to make these, and I’m sure even more are out there somewhere.  The BLT is an easy sandwich to make, and the flavours blend so well together.  I would be honestly shocked if I ever met someone that has never had one of these though.  Even with religions that do not consume pork, it is still possible to have a BLT.  But, in the strange event someone doesn’t know what this is, BLT stands for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich.  Vegans, and those that don’t eat pork still have “bacon” options.  While I’m biased, I have yet to find a bacon better than pork belly.

Let’s break down this sandwich and look at its history.  The BLT gained popularity in the United States after WWII.  With women entering the workforce in greater numbers it became popular as a quick sandwich to make.  Some websites refer to a magazine from Britain as mentioning a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich in the early 1900s.  It is also noted that no one person is credited with the creation, though many magazines mention the sandwich in its full name, with modern restaurants of the day receiving possible credit for the shorthand.

The first ingredient of almost any sandwich is the bread.  Many of the website resources I looked for to get some insight on this sandwich indicated that the bread was almost always toasted.  The type of bread varied upon personal tastes, you don’t even need bread, you can use a wrap.  I used whole wheat, but if you have a bread, you like then use it.

The next ingredient is the bacon.  As I mentioned, I prefer pork bacon, but turkey, beef, or tofu bacon are also options.  Cook you bacon just before you make this sandwich, it should be hot and crispy, not burned, just crispy.

Lettuce is next, and whatever you do, do not use iceberg lettuce for this sandwich.  The BLT demands a higher level or lettuce, treat yourself and get some romaine or green leaf.  Most restaurants will use green leaf, but I like romaine, because we always have it.  Other lettuces are ok too, but don’t use iceberg as it lacks the flavor strength to hold up to bacon and tomato.  It is a good sandwich lettuce, don’t get me wrong, I use it in lots of places like tacos, or tuna salad, but the BLT needs a flavor bump.

Tomato is your next ingredient.  You have choices with tomato these days, but I think a beefsteak tomato is best for this application, although you can use hot house, or roma.  Regardless, the tomato must be firm and slices ¼” thick.  Thicker slices will only make the sandwich difficult to consume.

Lastly, a BLT needs mayonnaise.  If you have a brand you like then use it.  I think we use a generic national brand, I don’t pay that much attention to it since most mayonnaises taste similar and it’s a little harder to really make mayo standout.  I think it is one of those ingredients that you want to keep a neutral taste to because it goes in a large variety of recipes and is the base for more sauces and dressings that almost any other ingredient.  So, spread the mayo on your top slice of bread, and butter the bottom.

Now you have your sandwich built, I like to slice it on an angle into two triangles, but you cut it your way it won’t distract from the taste.  Let’s also discuss taking this sandwich further.  If you want a Breakfast BLT add a fried egg on top, now you have a BELT (bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato).  If you want to fill up a bit more add another layer and put sliced ham, turkey, and cheddar cheese on it.  Then you have a triple decker sandwich, also called the clubhouse.

As I said, it is an incredibly easy recipe, but I’ll write it down in point form as well.

The BLT

Ingredients:

2 slices of bacon – cooked to your desired crispiness
2 slices of Beefsteak tomato – sliced thin
Romaine lettuce
2 slices of bread – toasted
Mayonnaise
butter

Directions:
  • Start cooking your bacon, as it will take the longest.
  • While the bacon is cooking, toast your bread.
  • Slice your tomato.
  • Break your lettuce into servable leaves.
  • Butter one slice of toast for your bottom and spread mayo on the top slice.
  • Once cooked, allow your bacon to cook for a minute or two then slice them in half.
  • Put the bacon on the bottom, then add your tomato, then your lettuce.
  • Place your top slice of bread on, mayo side down.
  • Slice your sandwich in half and enjoy.
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