Very few sandwiches have attained the notoriety that we know them by their initials alone. Take five. Think about that. After P.B.J’s it gets a little tougher to think of others that make it to that pedestal of comestibles we arrange between slices of bread or, if you prefer … as do I … toast. Let me tell you what may not be obvious. It took millennia to make. You see … cuisine is very rarely a lightening bolt of creation. Often it is a grindingly slow and sequential happenstance. Let’s look at where and when the primary ingredients found there way into this relatively short era we share. The Egyptians are credited with using yeast to leaven bread. We’d be nowhere near a BLT if there were no bread. In fact the initial for bread is not even in there it is so assured of its primacy. Lettuce is also claimed by ancient Egypt … as they turned it from a weed into a food plant almost 3,000 years ago. However right now we’d have a pretty boring sandwich. Things took a turn to the meaty when pigs were domesticated. However bacon as we know it was not part of the pantry of Europeans until the mid-1700s. The importance of bacon in a BLT is evident when you consider again the sequence. B ain’t for boy. But things got more luscious when it was finally discovered that beautiful tomatoes, which were thought to be poisonous due to their inclusion in the sometimes fatal nightshade family were found to be non-fatal … excepting in the attraction we have for them perhaps. The crowning achievement was still yet to arrive! The invention of mayonnaise!
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IGTV cooking videos @normanvanaken