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The best BLT IS what you make at home: serious tomatoes from a farm stand or, ideally, from the roadside stand next to the Shell station on route 9 at the Waterford turnoff (ripened for a week after buying them), iceberg lettuce, hickory smoked bacon, paper thin Vidalia onion, Hellman's mayonnaise and fresh, soft cheap white sandwich bread.

With really good potato chips. Even a sour pickle/garlic pickle or two.

Having just taken my last bite of one of these a few minutes ago the only thing that might have made it better would have been some locally grown super sweet white corn with really good butter, ideally picked this morning or afternoon.

There's not a restaurant in D. C. or anywhere else on earth that makes a better BLT.

Or the same tomatoes (yellow heirloom, red heirloom...) sliced thick with Italian buffalo mozz, fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, Badia Coltibuono olive oil and 12 year old Balsamic drizzled over all.

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What tips and tricks do you all either use at home to make your BLTs? What do the pros do/use?

I tend to believe that simpler is better, but I am indeed curious.

That said, the best BLTs are from tomatoes you grow yourself, preferably picked right off the vine, sliced immediately, plopped on the sandwich and eaten immediately -- so that you can still taste the warm sun in the tomato. I prefer a slightly heartier bread for my BLTs.

Also, another way to enjoy tomatoes for me is just the T. Bread, mayo, thick slab of tomato (or even half cut grape tomatoes!), salt, pepper and either onion or shallots. YUM!

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JMHO, but a BLT made with good quality bacon and ripe summer tomatoes deserves homemade mayonnaise and decent sandwich bread. I realize that people have great attachment to the tastes of their own childhoods, but to me better is better, regardless of what I ate as a kid. I grew up with Miracle Whip, but I wouldn't eat it now if you paid me. When I was back in L.A. in June, I made chicken salad for my parents with some poached chicken breasts I'd rescued from a chicken stock pot before they'd gotten overcooked. Their texture was perfect. I offered to make mayonnaise, but my mother nixed the suggestion, saying that she preferred Miracle Whip. I had to taste the salad afterward to check the seasoning. <gag> I'd forgotten how sweet it is.

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OK, I like my BLT w/ sturdy wholegrain bread, brushed w/ butter on outside, good bacon, homegrown tomatoes (thank goodness the tomatoes are still hanging on, despite the lack of rain), cheese (sharp cheddar or smoked provolone, grilled under a bacon/panini press until warmed through, then add lettuce & salsa mayo (salsa-either TJ's salsa verde or Pace Picante mixed w/ Hellman's light mayo), served w/ cold beverage of choice, pickles, & chips...

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