Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Classic Tomato Sandwich

Simplicity at its Finest

by Lynne Brandon

The debate continues as to whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable. Scientists say it is a fruit while cooks refer to the red juicy food as a vegetable. Either way it is a year around favorite that has its “day in the sun” during the summer months when production is peak of the juicy fruit. All during the year we eat tomato products: catsup, spaghetti sauce, tomato-based soups, bruschetta, gazpacho, and more, but it is only in the summer that the classic tomato sandwich is front and center in the South.

Purists agree that there is only one true, authentic way to eat this simple but delectable summer classic. You can fancy it up with cucumbers, onions and make a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) but the best way to eat the original tomato sandwich is with only the basics: tomatoes and bread.

Tomato sandwich ingredients:

Fresh white bread (whole wheat is healthier but it is not as good)

Duke’s mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Slicing tomato – German Johnson, Beefsteak, or any ripe tomato

Slice only the amount of tomato that you can eat at the time. If possible, pick the tomato the day you want to eat the sandwich. Slather Duke’s on both sides of fresh, white bread. Slice tomatoes evenly. Salt and pepper tomato to taste, and place on bread. Slice bread diagonally. Stand over the kitchen sink and eat sandwich carefully so the tomato juice can drip down your arms into the sink. Or, wear a bib. You will need one.