The ultimate comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwich, has been around for about 100 years. There are several theories about its origin, but when factory-made loaves of white bread became available in the 1920s, an open-faced sandwich was first prepared in the USA topped with graded cheddar cheese. Eventually a piece of bread was added on top. During the 1930s (the depression), the grilled cheese became a favourite because it was nutritious and cheap. Grilled cheese was also served in the armed forces, which means moms at home learned to make this staple.
Today, grilled cheese is making a comeback, with various grilled cheese specials showing up on menus as well as fast food establishments that serve variations on this classic favorite.
Try a few for yourself. All of these sandwiches are made the classic way. Butter the outside of the bread only, and cook in a frying pan or a sandwich maker. During the summer, consider a “real” grilling—cooking your sandwich on a BBQ or an open campfire in an iron pan!
Italian Twist – Use crusty Italian bread and sharp Asiago cheese. Sandwich together and cook. Before serving, open sandwich and add slices of tomato and fresh basil leaves.
Girls Special – Use thinly sliced egg bread and creamy havarti, spread mango chutney on inside of one slice. Sandwich together and cook. Before serving, open sandwich and add thinly sliced green apples.
Canadiana – Use whole wheat bread and aged Canadian cheddar. Top one with one slice of cooked peameal bacon. Sandwich together and cook.
Hearty Rye – Spread light rye bread with grainy mustard. Cover with a layer of Muenster, Tilsit or Cambozola cheese. Add a slice of Black Forest ham. Sandwich together and cook. Serve with a dill pickle.
Southwestern – Choose thick Texas toast sliced bread and spread one side with BBQ sauce. Add Monterey Jack cheese, sliced jalapeños and cook. Serve with sour cream for dipping.