This Upgraded BLT Still Tastes Like a Classic
Though BLTs are currently popping off on TikTok, the viral videos probably weren't your first introduction to the classic sandwich.
The BLT has been around since at least 1903, the year the term was first published in an issue of Ladies Home Journal. During this time, mayonnaise also started being commercially produced, making it more convenient for people to make sandwiches. However it wasn't until the '90s and early 2000s that the BLT truly gained its notoriety. Since then, BLTs have been a staple at sandwich shops and diners across the US.
Unlike turkey clubs and Italian subs, where you can play fast and loose with the fillings and condiments, what you put on a BLT is already dictated by the name of the sandwich. Add or remove ingredients, and it's technically no longer a BLT. Luckily, there aren't many ways to improve upon a combination of flavors that's basically perfect. The bacon salts the tomatoes, so you don't have to, the tomatoes introduce just the right amount of acidity, and the lettuce counteracts the greasiness of the bacon like a built-in palate cleanser after every bite.
Get Bacon In Every Bite
The only thing that throws off this perfect harmony is the fact that you don't always get bacon in every single bite. You might assume that this is simply the reality of putting strips of bacon on a sandwich; however, there's actually a way around it, and it can make for an even better BLT. All you have to do is weave the bacon strips together. (It's easier than it sounds — just pretend you're making a pie lattice). When the bacon cooks, it'll form a singular crispy sheet with no gaps.
Level Up Your Bread
While you're at it, give the bread an upgrade, too. Keep the stove on, and toast each slice in the rendered bacon fat instead of in the toaster. This will give the bread an evenly crisp, golden exterior that'll impart another layer of bacony flavor. More importantly it'll also hold up to the juiciness of any tomato — and that's an absolute must if you decide to use anything other than a beefsteak, heirloom, or green tomato.
Pick the Right Tomato
Beefsteak, heirloom, and green tomatoes are your best bet when picking the tomato for a BLT. Not only do these varieties of tomato give you plenty of surface area to work with, they're also firm and juicy, but not watery, so you'll never end up with a mushy BLT.
When it comes to assembling your BLT, you won't have to put as much thought into using the lettuce to shield the bread from the tomato juice, or carefully layering the bacon, so it's evenly distributed. Simply slather on as little of as much mayo as you'd like, then top it with the sandwich components in whatever order you prefer. As soon as you taste it, you'll find that it's still the same BLT you know and love, just with a little extra TLC.