The “B” in BLT refers to bacon.
A bacon, lettuce, and tomato (BLT) sandwich is a particularly popular type of sandwich 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 normally toasted. A popular variant is BLTA, which includes avocado in addition to the three main ingredients. Some cooks also often add a hard-boiled egg to create a BELT.
Avocado is added to a BLT in the popular variation, BLTA.
A number of things are happening at the wedding with the ingredients included in a BLT, and some cooks take this very seriously. Bacon and tomato have high levels of umami, the fifth flavor. Studies have suggested that umami amplifies other flavors and that combining foods rich in umami will make the dish much tastier. Humans have been clearly aware of this fact for a long time, as many traditional dishes include many foods with high levels of umami. The lettuce provides roughage green, which contrasts with the otherwise very heavy bacon.
Flour tortillas can be used to make BLT wrap sandwiches with bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Bread is also an important consideration on a BLT. Rye and sourdough are two popular bread choices, although technically any type of bread can be used. Typically, the bread is toasted before the sandwich is assembled, so it doesn’t get soggy with the fat from the tomato and bacon. Toasting also adds an additional layer of crunchy texture to the sandwich. When combined, the three main ingredients and the bread create a simple sandwich that is also widely considered to be very tasty.
Sourdough is a popular bread choice for BLTs, although technically any type of bread can 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 may confuse people who are familiar with the British bacon sandwich, made with thick bread, bacon and butter. A sauce like ketchup is also commonly included in this bacon sandwich; Since ketchup is made from tomatoes, it is also rich in umami.
To make a BLT, the cook must first prepare the bacon. Bacon can be fried until soft or crispy, depending on personal taste. It is usually drained or dried with a towel so that it is less oily. Bacon is added to toasted bread, typically on top of a bed of lettuce and sliced tomato. Some cooks like to add salt and pepper to the sandwich, along with the mayonnaise, while others prefer to keep the BLT simple. In either case, BLT is best eaten hot, before the bacon starts to get greasy.