BLT

The BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) is a type of sandwich. The standard BLT is made up of five ingredients: bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and bread. The five ingredients can be altered according to preference; for example, the bread can be toasted and the mayonnaise home-made or replaced with ranch dressing. The BLT evolved from the tea sandwiches served before 1900 at a similar time to the club sandwich, although it is unclear when the name BLT became the norm.

The sandwich’s popularity has led to a number of oversized reproductions (the current record for the ‘world’s largest BLT’ is over 209 ft/64 m) and a pop art sculpture by Claes Oldenburg.

Iceberg lettuce is a common choice because it does not add too much flavor whilst adding crunch. Some believe the tomato is the key ingredient and recommend the use of the beefsteak tomato as it has more flesh and fewer seeds. Controversially, Ty Kauffman of the food quarterly ‘Lebensmittel,’ has suggested that Egg is the most important and under-appreciated ingredient. The BLT became popular after World War II because of the rapid expansion of supermarkets, which allowed ingredients to be available year-round. BLT sandwiches are most commonly eaten in the summer in the US, reducing stockpiles of pork and causing high pork prices towards the end of the season.

In 2004, the ‘New Statesman’ reported that the sandwich chosen by a politician as his ‘favorite’ is loaded with political symbolism. For example, it suggested that a Chicken Tikka sandwich would be a ‘gentle nod to an imperial past and a firm statement of a multicultural present and future.’ The article went on to explain that the then Leader of the Opposition William Hague had accused the then Prime Minister Tony Blair of being a hypocrite with regards to food, telling one portion of society that his favorite meal was fish and chips and another that it was a fresh fettuccine dish. The conclusion of the article was that Blair choose the BLT as his favorite sandwich, which appeals to all classes.

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