Southern cuisine is iconic in its own right. Whether you crave the low country foods of South Carolina, ranging from shrimp and grits to she-crab soup, desire the peach-centric desserts of Georgia, or can't wait to sample all the ribs, brisket, and pulled pork from a Texas BBQ, the south has exquisite cuisine. While these dishes may be among the first to come to mind when hearing the term "Southern eats," there is one food that is often forgotten about by those living on the coasts, the Northern states, and more: The Tomato Sandwich.

First documented in 1911  in The Virginia Chronicle, this little delight is now an iconic Southern lunch best eaten in the warmest months of the year. Truly, you may think you're a BLT girlie, but you need to make this for your next picnic, beach day, or weekday lunch. "Tomato Girl Summer" is in full swing. 

How do you make a traditional tomato sandwich?

The ingredients are simple, but it screams summer. In fact, The New York Times even shared that this is the sandwich Southerners wait for all year, as it's best when the tomato comes directly from a backyard garden, but of course, there are so many varieties to choose from. 

The preparation starts with two slices of white bread, don't toast it! Then, you'll need the centerpiece — a perfectly ripe, red tomato. Even if you don't grow your own tomatoes, Southern Living highly recommends grabbing a thick, juicy beefsteak tomato from a farmer's market, but heirloom tomatoes will also work well. If all else fails, a standard tomato will do just fine. 

Then, you'll need to cut your ripe tomato into thick slices, around 1/2 inches, big enough to cover almost your whole piece of bread. Make sure to generously salt and pepper these slices. 

Then, you'll need to grab two slices of white bread. (We're talking about Wonder Classic White bread, here.) Spread mayonnaise — Southerners are partial to Duke's — generously on both slices, add tomato slices to one side, and make your sandwich. 

These simple steps create a summer treat that is on par with a perfectly ripe nectarine and strawberry fruit salad, or an ice cream cone from a local creamery. 

Variations on the tomato sandwich

Of course, many tomato sandwich lovers have preferences of which kind of bread they use. If you want a more even distribution of tomato to bread, opt for a baguette, a bakery sourdough, and the like. Some sandwich lovers prefer a light toasting as well to better counteract the juiciness of the tomato. 

TikTok user @legallyhealthyblonde used the Japanese Kewpie mayo on her bread, along with a drizzle of olive oil for her variation. 

Additionally, Kacie Rose on TikTok simply added olive oil and salt to a beautifully sliced Italian tomato and ate the slices on top of focaccia bread. 

No matter how you celebrate your summer tomato yield from your own garden or local market, you can't go wrong with a little salt and pepper and bread. This is the ultimate girl dinner appetizer if you ask me.