April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day(Grilled Cheese Day), a celebration of all the cheesy toasty goodness that is a grilled cheese sandwich. No one is sure who the founder of Grilled Cheese Day is but everyone can agree that a grilled cheese sandwich is some heavenly gooeyness on a plate.
Origin of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich
There have been recipes that included melting cheese on bread since ancient times but the idea of a grilled cheese can be traced back to the 192o’s when Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented the bread slicer and processed cheese was patented by James L. Kraft making cheese affordable and scalable for the masses.
By the 1930s during the Great Depression, these inexpensive grilled cheese sandwiches became a staple in the American diet. These early grilled cheese sandwiches were more like toasted cheese. They consisted of one slice of bread with some grated American cheese melted on it.
During World War II Navy cooks prepared “American cheese filling sandwiches” as instructed in the government-issued cookbooks. In 1949, Kraft Foods introduced Kraft Singles and supermarkets began stocking them in 1965. This is also around the time that the sandwich got it’s second slice of bread on top making it a more filling sandwich. Thus the modern grilled cheeses sandwich was created.
Interesting Facts about Grilled Cheese
Three-quarters of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese a month.
In the 1953 version of The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer wrote that bread and cheese should be heated in a waffle iron as an easy meal that even “the maidless host” could prepare.
The term “grilled cheese” doesn’t appear in print until the 1960s; before then it was referred to as toasted cheese or a melted cheese sandwich.
A 1902 recipe for a “Melted Cheese,” designed to be cooked in a hot oven, appeared in Sarah Tyson Rorer‘s Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book
The most expensive grilled cheese in the world is the $214 “Quintessential Grilled Cheese” from Serendipity 3 in New York City.
Here’s my family recipe for a simple grilled cheese.
Eclectic Evelyn's Easy Grilled Cheese
This is a quick and easy go to for my family for a quick lunch or paired with chili for a hearty meal.
- 2 slices Bread - any type you prefer
- 2 slices Kraft American cheese singles
- 1 tsp Miracle Whip
- 1 tsp butter
Spread the Miracle Whip on both slices of bread and add 1 slice of Kraft cheese to each slice of bread.
Add 1/2 tsp of butter to hot skillet to melt
Place one slice of bread with cheese in the skillet on top of the melted butter. Place the other slice of bread with cheese on the first making a sandwich.
Spread the remaining butter on top of the sandwich in the pan. Use a spatula to flip the sandwich so the buttered side is down. Cook a few minutes until golden brown. Flipping again if necessary.
Let sandwich rest for a minute then cut into triangles and serve while still warm.
The great thing about a grilled cheese is you can substitute whatever bread or cheese you like or even add different types of cheese and bacon. It's up to you how fancy or how simple you want your grilled cheese to be.
Want some more great grilled cheese recipes from all over the world?
Check out my Grilled Cheese Board on Pinterest.
This post is part of the April A to Z Blog Challenge. View my past posts for the challenge HERE
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