What is a BLT?

The “B” in BLT stands for bacon.

A bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwich is a type of sandwich that is particularly popular in the United States. As the name implies, the sandwich classically includes bacon, lettuce, and tomato, usually with a small smear of mayonnaise on the bread, which is usually toasted. A popular variant is the BLTA, which includes avocado in addition to the three cardinal ingredients. Some cooks have also been known to add a boiled egg to create a BELT.

Avocado is added to a BLT in the popular variation, BLTA.

Several things are at stake in marriage over the ingredients included in a BLT, and some cooks take it very seriously. Both bacon and tomatoes have high levels of umami, the fifth taste. Studies have suggested that umami amplifies other flavors and that combining foods high in umami will make a dish much more palatable. Humans have been clearly aware of this fact for a long time, as many traditional dishes include various foods with high levels of umami. The lettuce provides green fiber, which contrasts with the otherwise very heavy bacon.

Flour tortillas can be used to make BLT sandwiches wrapped with bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

Bread is also an important consideration in a BLT. Rye and sourdough are two popular bread choices, although technically any type of bread can be used. The bread is usually toasted before the sandwich is assembled, so it doesn’t get soggy with tomato and bacon grease. Toasting also adds an extra layer of crunchy texture to the sandwich. When combined, the three main ingredients and the bread create a simple sandwich that is also considered quite tasty.

Sourdough is a popular bread option for BLTs, although any type of bread can technically be used.

The first recorded instance of the sandwich appears to be in an American cookbook from the late 1920s. The original cookbook called it a “bacon sandwich,” which can be confusing to people familiar with the bacon sandwich. British bacon, made with thick bread, bacon, and butter. A sauce such as ketchup is also commonly included in this bacon sandwich; Since ketchup is made from tomatoes, it is also high in umami.

To make a BLT, the cook must first prepare the bacon. Bacon can be fried until tender or made crispier, depending on personal taste. It is usually drained or patted with a towel to make it less oily. Bacon is added to toast, usually on top of a bed of lettuce and sliced ​​tomato. Some cooks like to add salt and pepper to the sandwich, along with mayonnaise, while others prefer to keep the BLT simple. In any case, it’s best to eat the BLT hot, before the bacon starts to taste greasy.

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