There is only one sandwich to eat in August, and that’s the tomato sandwich. As a self-proclaimed tomato-phile, abstract concepts like “in-season” or “local” don’t impinge on my year-round consumption. But let’s make this clear: there is a world of difference between the mealy varieties found in even the best grocery stores (looking at you, Whole Foods) that I eat with a melancholic air and the sublime specimens that start popping up in farmer’s markets around June. The latter are the only ones to buy during summer. By late July, they’re impossibly sweet (I would call it ambrosial, but my editor would call that hyperbolic) and brimming with green seeds and juices and a special je ne sais quoi, especially if you leave them out on the counter for a few days (Never refrigerate tomatoes. Ever.).
 
You can eat them like an apple with a saltshaker on a porch if you want to. You can arrange slices of them on a platter with avocado slivers,  a generous drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon, or roast them until they’re these gem-like orbs sublated to their sweetest, tartest essence with a bitter trace of caramelization — or you can do the best of these and make a tomato sandwich. It’s so simple, yet it is the epicurean embodiment of ingredients transcending the sum of their parts. This is the sandwich I dream of during the cold months of dusty root vegetables with nary a vermilion sphere in sight, and now is the peak time to make it.
 
Here’s what you do. Go to Ann Arbor Farmers Market, Saturday or Wednesday. Buy a tomato — heirloom, plum, beefsteak, red, green, yellow, zebra — anything that’s hazardously soft to the touch and speaks to you. I have a working theory that ugly tomatoes are the yummiest and it has yet to fail me. Other people (read: less informed) are more squeamish, but the ones with busted seams, all misshapen, the outcasts of the nightshade world are the ones to zero in on. Make sure it’s teetering on overripe so you get all those vital juices.
                                                                                               
Buy rye bread. Some purists insist on Wonder Bread but I swear by the deep, slightly sour taste of Jewish rye. It cuts through the tomato without being too distracting. Mayonnaise is yet another disputation. Southerners swear by Duke’s. Others are fine with Hellman’s. Only blasphemers use Miracle Whip. I personally use my own profane brand: vegan. Hear me out, Just Mayo, Hampton Creek’s version, is amazing. So amazing, it beat out regular carnivore mayo in a Serious Eats taste test. No artificial ingredients, soy-free, blah blah blah, but most importantly, free of any sweetness like other conventional ones, and tart.
 
Toast the bread, slather on the mayo of your choice, and slice the tomatoes into thick slabs. Don’t you dare core it — the seeds are the best part. Salt and pepper judiciously. Eat it over the kitchen sink or do like I do and put it on a plate and grab a wad of napkins so you can sink into bliss at your own convenience. 

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