As you might expect, we here at the Republic of Bacon are huge fans of the BLT. The bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is a cultural icon of bacon appreciation. These delectable sandwiches are available almost everywhere, from the humblest greasy-spoon diners to the most revered upscale restaurants. We have written about the BLT here in the past, most recently when we celebrated BLT Sandwich Month in April.
Everyone knows the basic ingredients that go into making this classic sandwich, and the assembly is simple enough even the greenest college student who still burns mac and cheese can still make a fine BLT. But what about the perfect BLT? How can you make a simple combination of ingredients not just ordinarily delicious, but spectacularly delicious?
The secret, bacon-loving friends, is in the subtle variations of ingredients. And we think we have come up with the perfect combination.
Bread is the most essential ingredient of any sandwich, but it is often the most overlooked. Choosing a delicious bread can make all the difference in the world when it comes to sandwich building. For BLTs, we love challah bread, a light but substantial egg bread with just a bit of sweetness. This bread has a fluffy texture and toasts beautifully, making it ideal for a BLT. A grainy bread like sunflower seed is also an excellent choice.
It goes without saying that bacon is the most important ingredient in a BLT. We recommend choosing a thick-cut bacon, so that the bacon element to the sandwich is substantial. Also look for bacon with a nice ribbon of fat running through it, which gives bacon is characteristic slight sweetness. Also, cook your bacon so it is crispy, but not burned, to give your sandwich that oh-so-satisfying bacon crunch.
Choosing a good, ripe tomato is crucial to making a great BLT. Buying off-season tomatoes means they might be weak and flavourless, but a ripe summer tomato is a wonderful addition to any sandwich. We recommend beefsteak tomatoes for their thick and meaty texture. Heirloom tomatoes from a local farmer are also wonderful, and come in a variety of colours and shapes.
Whatever lettuce you choose for a BLT, it should be as fresh and crisp as possible. Be sure to wash your lettuce well and dry it thoroughly, so your sandwich does not get soggy. Butter lettuce or Boston lettuce both have a fresh, delicate flavour and wide, soft leaves, making them perfect for a BLT.
A BLT just isn’t the same without mayonnaise. This thick, tangy spread adds the perfect kick to this glorious sandwich, and the smooth texture is a great foil for the crispy bacon. If you’re a mustard fan, we also recommend a sweet, smoky mustard for even more punch!
What is your favourite way yo make a BLT?