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Today we thought we would explore the history of one of our favorite comfort foods: the grilled cheese. Read on to find out about its origins and find some ideas for making yours extra delicious.
The modern American grilled cheese sandwich first originated in the 1920s, when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became widely available.
Around the world, people have different preferences for how to make their grilled cheese, be it in a pan, on the griddle, or in a panini maker or sandwich press. In the UK, they are often called toasties and made in a machine which seals the edges of the bread whilst melting the cheese. In Australia, they are often called jaffles!
We’ve put together some fun ideas for you to make an extra special grilled cheese at home today.
1. Add fruit
We absolutely love a sweet and savory combo! Try blueberries with mascarpone, peaches with gouda, apple butter with pepper jack, or strawberries with mozzarella. You could even create a Hawaiian pizza inspired grilled cheese with ham and pineapple. Something that we recently tried was a small amount of jam in a grilled cheese made with ricotta. It sounds strange, but trust us, it really works!
2. Go for different bread
Sometimes you can’t beat the classic sliced white bread, but if you’re feeling adventurous then try something new to sandwich your cheese between. Have you tried brioche bread for your grilled cheese? It gets an incredible caramelization from its high sugar content. Croissants also work really well. Donuts and pound cake are an extra decadent addition to a sweet grilled cheese, although you might want to leave these to the professionals!
3. Add pickles and relishes
Some of you will be purists who want the cheesiest sandwich that they can find, but we’re pretty partial to a good pickle in our sandwiches. It cuts through the richness and will pack a flavor punch at the same time. A spoonful of mustard can also work wonders with the right cheese.
4. Top it with a fried egg
Whether you like yours over easy or sunny side up, you won’t be sorry that you topped your grilled cheese with a fried egg. It does mean that you’ll have to use a knife and fork to dig in, rather than picking it up, but that’s a small sacrifice to make for the perfect combination of bread, melted cheese, and oozing egg yolks.
5. Go wild
We know that there’s a combination that you’ve dreamed of but haven’t dared to try. You’ll find all sorts of combinations work well, although maybe you’ll want to try them out before unleashing them on any unsuspecting guests.
How do you like your grilled cheese? Let us know in the comments below!