Homemade Bacon Lettuce Tomato BLT Sandwich with Potato Chips
The Mysterious Origins Of
By Roger Adler
One of the most popular sandwiches out there is the classic BLT — consisting of crispy bacon, crunchy lettuce, and succulent tomato slices coated with mayonnaise and served on toasted bread. How these ingredients came together to form one of the great American sandwiches has its roots in a tea sandwich from rural Victorian England (per Sir Kensington's).
The BLT crossed the pond in 1903 in the "Good Housekeeping Everyday Cook Book," with a sandwich recipe featuring bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a turkey slice. Food Timeline reports that the 1920s book "Calendar of Sandwiches & Beverages" featured bacon, tomatoes, and sweet gherkins, and they also link the BLT name with Chicago newspaper columnist Bert Leston Taylor.
In 1951, the Saturday Evening Post referred to a toasted sandwich of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, and BLT maven Michele Anna Jordan posits that the sandwich may be an outgrowth of the club sandwich once often served on trains' club cars. Jordan also traces the BLT's surge in popularity to the Bacon of the Month Club in the 1990s.
Another theory, posited by Culinary Debates, suggests that the BLT is simply an adaptation of the BELT sandwich. Served at New York's Delmonico Restaurant during the Jazz Age, the sandwich featured the traditional BLT ingredients, in addition to a fried egg.