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Say cheese, grilled please

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Kiddos and grown-ups alike, clap their hands in joy at the thought of a gooey, melted grilled cheese sandwich; the kind that oozes cheesy goodness all over the plate. In order to celebrate the renowned lunchtime-cafeteria-diner wonder, April has been awarded the notable distinction as National Grilled Cheese month.

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Bread and cheese have been fused together for centuries. Most reliable accounts date the humble sammie back to Roman times, followed closely by the French version, Croque Monsieur, a paring of ham, cheese and tangy Dijon mustard. Toasted cheese, made its appearance in America in the 1920’s. Economical loaves of bread and processed cheese made a hearty meal for frugal families.

Grilled cheese started out as an open-faced sandwich which morphed into a food-forward trend. The rudimentary type is the white, squishy bread of our childhood and slices of processed American cheese. This achieves the desired melt-factor, but much palate-progress has been made. Heartier bread, an interesting mix of cheese and the addition of veggies or even fruit has given these ubiquitous sandwiches their hip following.

A trip to the market or even better yet, a specialty cheese shop such as Foster and Dobbs yields the necessary ingredients. To start the saliva glands working here are a handful of much-loved combos in our household:

  • Dense sourdough slathered with honey-mustard, topped with slices of Havarti-dill and broccoli slaw
  • Hearty whole-grain bread, spread with Dijon mustard, sharp cheddar cheese and apple slices
  • Sliced whole-wheat baguette, layered with fig jam, brie and fresh thyme – served open-faced

If you aren’t in the mood for cooking, there are several places serving up remarkable grilled cheese. Check out The Cheese Plate in the Northeast, Seasons and Regions in the Southwest or one of Grilled Cheese Grill’s double-decker bus offerings. Enjoy melted deliciousness on bread all month, but in particular on April 12th.

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