Tomato Taste Off Competition

by Lacey Eibert Keigley

White bread.  Thickly cut tomatoes fresh from the garden in the backyard.  Mayo slathered thick and creamy on both sides of the tomato.  Salt and pepper generously added.  And, if you’re fancy, the sandwich sliced into triangles.

Is this just a memory exclusive to Southern childhoods?

If you didn’t grow up in the South or if you didn’t have a grandma with a tomato plant in her garden or if you just missed the tomato sandwich train altogether, well, we’re sorry – but we promise that an upcoming popular TR tradition will change your views of tomatoes and bread and the simple combination of both.

Since 2013 the Travelers Rest Farmers Market has hosted the annual Tomato Sandwich Taste Off.



We’re pretty sure that the tomatoes in our region are some of the tastiest anywhere and we love showing them off in their summer’s glory.  The tomatoes in this year’s contest will come from a variety of local farms, including some of these favorite farms that are available at the market each week – Mill Village Farm, Beechwood Farms, Saint Basil Farm, Sandy Flat Berry Patch, Thrive Upstate,  Cedar Creek Mountain Nursery and Natures Peace Garden.


This year’s Tomato Taste Off happens at the Travelers Rest Farmers Market on July 29 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.  You’ll purchase a ticket for $8 and then proceed through the line up of restaurants offering up what they hope is the winning version of the classic tomato sandwich.  You’ll sample all of the sandwiches and make your vote.  The sandwich with the most votes wins!

Some of this year’s participating restaurants are Sidewall Pizza, Farmhouse Tacos, Cafe at Williams Hardware, Upcountry Provisions (last year’s winner) and a guest Chef from Euphoria.



Here’s what you can expect from the sandwiches themselves – the tomato is the star!  Competitors are not allowed to have meat on their sandwiches because it’s not a BLT competition, it’s a tomato competition.  Now – you might find some bacon flavored mayo or some such inventive infusion between your two slices of bread – but the rules say no actual meat pieces on the sandwich.

Invite your friends, gear up your tastebuds and come on out Saturday, July 29 to help decide what tomato sandwich is simply the best this year!




Read health tips here.




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