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The BLT’s winning combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato on toast or bread wants only mayonnaise. Needless to say, the quality of each ingredient is paramount. Bacon should be slightly pliable but not rubbery and definitely not cooked to the point that it crumbles when bitten. Lettuce participates more for its crunch than flavor, which is why a few leaves of iceberg are just right. Slices of fresh, full-flavored tomato are imperative. The BLT-plus-mayo formula has been made into a salad (with croutons adding the element that toast adds to the sandwich) as well as into a dressing for pasta. In southern-themed restaurants, an increasingly popular variation of the BLT is a sandwich in which fried green tomatoes take the place of fresh ones. This dramatically changes the nature of the sandwich, the fried green tomatoes’ tang and deep-fried crunch taking it far away from the bright, garden-freshness supplied by a perfect ripe tomato.