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A tradition unlike any other
The egg salad sandwich is as much a part of the Masters as the green jacket — and looks just as good. [Photo: Sandra A. Gutierrez]

If you have been to the Masters, then you've probably eaten one of the fabled egg salad sandwiches. If you haven't, you've probably heard of it. Even though you can have your pick of pimento cheese, ham and Swiss, turkey, chicken (the classic or the wrap), bar-b-que or club sandwich, none may be more famous than the egg salad sandwich. And for the $1.50 price, you really cannot go wrong.

The classic is a simple combo of hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise that sits between pillowy, white bread. Maybe it tastes better when surrounded by flowering azaleas and plush green grass. Whatever the secret is, that egg salad sandwich is synonymous with the Masters. It's the stuff dreams are made of — golf championship dreams, at least.

It all starts with perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs. There are rules to doing this correctly: First, use eggs that are a week old so they'll peel easily. Don't let the yolks overcook or they'll get a grayish tinge of color. This salad must be pure white and yellow. Most importantly, use only sugar-free mayonnaise — the kind southern grandmothers swear by. 

Now, you could fancy it up and add chopped tarragon, mint leaves, thinly sliced cucumbers or pickle relish. But make no mistake — the classic sandwich has no frills. So here's a recipe. Even if you never compete for the coveted green jacket, you can always eat like a champion.

Go ahead, make a whole tray of them and wrap them each in a green napkin. If you set them next to a pot of flowering azaleas, and watch the drama unfold on a big screen while you eat them, it will be like being there. Well, almost. 

Championship Egg Salad Sandwiches
12 large eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
12 white sandwich bread slices

Place the eggs in a pot; cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat off, and cover them with a lid. Let the eggs sit off the heat for 14 minutes (set a timer, so you can be exact). Drain the pot and immediately plunge the eggs into a bowl with iced water. Once cooled, peel them, mash them, dress them with mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill the salad for 2 hours. Place 6 slices of bread on a cutting board. Top each with a generous amount of eggs, mounded high. Cover each with another slice of bread. Cut each sandwich in half. 

Serves: 6

Sandra A. Gutierrez is an award-winning writer and author of four cookbooks. 

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