Tag Archives: Tomato Sandwich

Let’s talk about the tomato sandwich

Classic Southern Tomato Sandwich photographed for Voraciously/the Washington Post by Scott Suchman. Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky

I am a tomato sandwich interloper. While that might automatically make me a rabid fan, I hide my late-to-the-game status with nonchalance. Of courrrse, it must be white bread. “I prefer Sunbeam.” See, no hard line for me. Prefer is the word. Just prefer, not a requirement. Duke’s mayo, too. Goes without saying for those to-the-tomato-sandwich-manor born. Shhh, do not shout Duke’s from the rooftop, lest you betray your newbieishness.

The tomato sandwich is an older food, but not that old since it is reliant on white bread, the kind that yields maximum puff from minimum wheat, landing it in early mid-century America. Right? Probably wrong. The Virginia Chronicle references it in 1911, although the bread must have been meatier and yeastier and all that good stuff. Yup, lots of people – anecdotal research here – prefer “good” bread and I can’t blame em. That tomato sandwich is a whole different animal. Worthy. Delicious. Different.



Speaking of summer, let’s get on with it. Festival of the lights be here, be gone, longer days, bring it on! Tomato sandwiches, please. I did not have anywhere near enough of them last summer. Or the one before.

Jeff Saxman, a terrific Richmond photographer, generously added the Duke’s cookbook to my library. We have done quite a bit of work together for Duke’s and I dig it – the mayonnaise and the work with Jeff.

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You will find nice straightforward recipes on the Duke’s website – Lobster Rolls, like the one above, and Tomato Sandwiches among them. See, here you go.

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What’d I tellya? Easy peasy. In lieu of Grill Shakers, in case you don’t have it and don’t want to run out, salt and pepper are good. They are almost always good, such a pair.

You know this sandwich is dependent on the tomatoes, which are dependent on the season, no matter how many hydroponic farmers and overnight freight shippers might tellya, right? Wait it out till tomatoes are hot on the vine.

Then, get out the Duke’s and bread. That’ll do-ya. Here’s what’s in Dukes:Ingredients: Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika (it’s just paprika, not to worry) natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (not sure where I stand on this stuff) added to protect flavor.

As a Southern thing, Duke’s knows its way around a tomato sandwich, that much I know for sure. And I’m gonna look into that calcium disodium thing.

Duke's Cover

Duke’s Mayonnaise

Duke's Tomato Sandwich