I grew up in South Jersey, which is the polar opposite of North Jersey. You won’t find any Jersey Shore-esque guidos down here. I saw did see one once at Target when I was in college. Actually, I smelled him first…from three aisles away. It was most unpleasant.
When you grow up in South Jersey, locally grown produce is an integral part of your summer fare. I crave Jersey tomatoes every summer. If you haven’t had them, I assert that you’ve never really tasted a tomato. They are sweet and fresh and they smell like earth and sunshine. I really can’t describe them any other way.
In my house, we regularly had tomato sandwiches for lunch. My aunt would go out to the garden, pick a ripe tomato off the bush, and then she’d make these sandwiches. They are so simple and so pleasant. The taste of them brings me back to my childhood. I don’t know if tomato sandwiches are common anywhere else in the country or even in the rest of South Jersey, but we ate them and they are, by far, the best thing I ever ate.
Another perk to tomato sandwiches is that they are super inexpensive to make. I think the tomatoes were the most expensive ingredient and they were .98 cents a pound at my local farmers market. Here’s the break down and the list of ingredients:
Jersey tomatoes – .98 cents/lb
Kaiser rolls – .65 cents each
American Cheese – $1.04 for 1/8 of a pound (4 slices)
Mayonnaise – you only use a smear of this. Maybe 1/2 teaspoon.*
Salt & Pepper
1. You can use your choice of bread. I got Kaiser rolls because they were fresh and the rest of the bread in ACME was loaded with preservatives and soy.
2. Smear mayo on either side of your choice of bread. *Mayo is expensive, if you have to buy it for this recipe, the cost of the meal will increase.
3. Layer on cheese and tomato slices. Top with salt and pepper.
You can make it fancy by adding avocado slices or green leafy vegetables, but I don’t recommend it. The tomatoes are the star of this sandwich.