- I visited one of Ina Garten's favorite spots in the Hamptons, New York, over the summer.
- While there, I bought the best sandwich I've ever eaten in my life — and I'm not exaggerating.
- Even though it was $24 for a simple mozzarella-and-tomato sandwich, I'd go back and get it again.
On a recent excursion to Long Island neighborhoods Montauk and the Hamptons — some of the most exclusive and high-end areas in the US — I visited Round Swamp Farm in East Hampton.
While prices were high, Round Swamp Farm's products were wide-ranging and delicious
I was surprised by how expensive some things were, like a $71 steak or a pound of lobster salad for $83.99, but I loved the ambiance of the store, its large selection of fresh produce and prepared foods, and its emphasis on its family roots.
When I asked Round Swamp Farm about its high prices, a representative for the farm said they "believe that the prices of our products fairly represent the high quality and variety of the fresh food and produce we offer" and are "necessary" to support staff and their families who live in one of the most expensive areas in the country.
Among its high-priced items was a $24 tomato-and-mozzarella sandwich. But after buying and tasting it, I can attest that every bite was incredible — and it was worth the relatively large price-tag.
At first, I thought the sandwich was misplaced in a different section
I came across the sandwich when I was browsing the aisles. It stood out because it wasn't shelved with the other prepared foods — it was right by the kitchen, as if it had been freshly made just for me. Despite its hefty price tag, I was craving tomatoes after seeing the huge ones that Round Swamp Farm grows.
As almost all of Round Swamp Farms' products are, the sandwich was labeled with its ingredients: bread, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, arugula, mayonnaise, balsamic vinegar, basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon, olive oil, and fresh herbs and spices.
While I knew its ingredients were grown on the farm or baked fresh, I still wasn't prepared for the deliciousness. It had the juiciest tomatoes I've ever eaten, bread that wasn't too hard to bite like a baguette or ciabatta, and the perfect amount of herb mayo.
It was the best sandwich of my life.
The bread and tomatoes were the real standouts of the sandwich
Round Swamp's bread was melt-in-your-mouth soft, and seasoned with some of the herbs and spices mentioned in the ingredients.
I also couldn't get enough of the red and orange tomatoes, which were some of the tastiest and juiciest tomatoes I've ever had. The mozzarella was the perfect texture: not too soggy, but not firm.
Even though its ingredients might sound simple, I know I could never recreate it on my own.
So while it's not feasible for me to spend $24 on a sandwich every day — or to drive the 100 miles to East Hampton from New York City, where I live — I know that I've found a go-to spot with a go-to sandwich the next time I head out east.
The Barefoot Contessa has done it again.