Grilled cheese is a classic childhood favorite that simply can’t be beaten. Kids and adults alike love this simple, yet tasty meal. Everyone knows that grilled cheese is something almost any human can make but have you ever wondered who thought of the idea in the first place?
Grilled cheese has a rich history behind it, and so does National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! So, why not take the time to make a grilled cheese sandwich and celebrate National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day with a selection of friends and family?
History of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Grilled Cheese, as society now knows it, is considered to be an American tradition. Recipes for grilled cheeses have been mentioned in Ancient Roman texts, so the idea of grilled cheese goes back a long way. What many people consider to be a grilled cheese can be traced back as far as the early 1920s.
During the industrial revolution, Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented the bread slicer that made distributing sliced bread even more accessible and more affordable. Shortly before this invention, however, James L. Kraft created processed cheese. His process ensured that this cheese would not spoil even when transported long distances. These two inventions changed the face of sandwich making forever!
By 1914, J.L. Kraft & Bros Company opened in Illinois, and the company continued to expand over the next five years. Rather than a delicacy, the company’s factory cheese was considered to be a cheap product that could be produced on a massive scale. And meet the needs on a massive scale, it certainly did!
So, who thought of the combination that would become the grilled cheese sandwich? Well, according to historical, government-issued cookbooks, the American Navy thought of it. Or at least they were the first ones to publish about it! Navy chefs would cook up hundreds of “American cheese-filled sandwiches” for those military personnel who were fighting in World War II.
Originally, these sandwiches were made with cheese that was grated. Sliced cheese was not introduced until the late 1940s when Kraft Foods introduced Kraft singles and then, years later, supermarkets began to stock cheese slices in the 1960s.
The ’60s brought out the term “grilled cheese,” when an American invention added the second slice of bread on top, making it one of the most popular meals to have for lunch or dinner. Other popular names include “toasted cheese sandwich” or “cheese toasty”.
But no matter what it is called, this sandwich is certainly a reason to celebrate!
How to Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich days in these fun ways:
Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Make your own grilled cheese using the basics: two pieces of plain white bread and Kraft single slices processed cheese. For those who wish to make the sandwich more of a delicacy, change up the cheese by adding slices of cheddar, gouda, or Munster cheese.
Another way to get creative is to change the bread by making it whole grain and add other creativity to the dish. Serve a grilled cheese with some tomato soup, invite friends over for a simple dinner, and enjoy everything this day has to offer!
Have a Grilled Cheese Party
A Grilled Cheese party could be a super fun way to involve friends and show them the greatness of grilled cheese. At this party, a fantastic thing to include could be a Grilled Cheese bar. Have a bunch of different fillings, some options for bread, different cheeses and get creative!
Try out these interesting combinations to make a ho-hum sandwich into something absolutely delicious: jalapenos, different meats such as pre-cooked chicken or barbequed pork, crushed potato chips, herbs and spices, pickles, or caramelized onions.
Some people even enjoy fruit. For instance, sliced apples or pears, strawberries, or kiwi can be a delicious add-on to a grilled cheese to spruce it up a bit. It seems like the consensus is the more creative the concoction, better the sandwich!
Of course, a simple just-cheese grilled cheese will always be a welcome, tasty classic at any table.
Go to a Grilled Cheese Restaurant
New on the scene of niche restaurants, try out one of these that has gone deep and far into the creating of and serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. So far, they seem to be mostly in the US, but if there isn’t one local perhaps consider opening one!
- Melt – From Cleveland, Ohio. All of the locations for Melt are located in Ohio, so living in Ohio or nearby gives access to some great grilled cheese! The Melt menu has quite a few options, they even have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for many of their items.
- Clementine – From Los Angeles, California. Clementine has a build-your-own grilled cheese which is a really unique and fun way to ensure the customers enjoy their meal and can customize it to their liking. Clementine is family-owned and only has one location.
- Alchemy – From Madison, Wisconsin. Alchemy’s Stuffed Grilled Cheese is definitely stuffed–as it includes broccoli, carrots, tomato, cheese (of course!), a pesto sauce and more. This slightly out-of-the-box grilled cheese is a great one to try on this day to celebrate!
- The Grilled Cheeserie – From Nashville, Tennessee. This restaurant’s menu is full of many different grilled cheese options, including a make-your-own grilled cheese. They also offer gluten-free bread for any sandwich. At this restaurant, there seems to be something for everyone!
- Cheesie’s Pub and Grub – From Chicago, Illinois. This restaurant also has a good range of options for different grilled cheese sandwiches. Cheesie’s has three locations in the Chicago area.