It is a joyous occasion, indeed, when the colors of the farmer’s market turn from dark greens to ruby reds. And the first order of business when tomatoes come into season is the tomato sandwich. Everyone in the South has their preferred version of the tomato sandwich. Some prefer white bread, not toasted, so the tomato juice slowly disintegrates the bread as you consume the sandwich hunched over your sink. I believe in toasting your bread to maintain the integrity of the sandwich.
This is not a recipe, but it’s my procedure for assembling the perfect tomato sandwich. You toast your bread first. Then you slather both pieces with butter. Not margarine. Don’t make me come after you. You add mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s, to just one side of the buttered toast.
Then you slice the tomato and lay it atop the bread with the mayo/butter combination. Sprinkle the tomato with salt, pepper and a wee pinch of sugar. That is the secret. That little bit of sugar. Place the remaining slice of bread on top, slice in half, die and go to heaven.
It has been approximately eight months since I had a homegrown tomato. I don’t buy tomatoes in the supermarket for a variety of reasons, mostly because they are not real tomatoes, but chemically altered orbs of crap picked by slave labor in a place where tomatoes are not meant to grow. But that’s just me.
That makes the first tomato sandwich of summer all the more enjoyable. It’s rare.