Unless you’re a diehard Grilled Cheese fan, you may have not been aware that April 12 was ‘National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.’ Yes, there is a day set aside to mark this auspicious American classic – and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this delicious sandwich type regularly.
Legend has it that the grilled cheese sandwich made its mark on U.S. menus in the 1920s when inexpensive cheese and conveniently sliced bread became readily available. And since then, the tasty, gooey goodness of the grilled cheese sandwich has become a staple in cafes, diners, local eateries, and school cafeterias across the country, and has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, hitting the menus in gourmet establishments with variations on that basic theme.
Considering America’s love of the grilled cheese sandwich, think about featuring the traditional classic of sliced white bread + American cheese melted in butter on the menu in your establishment… or if it’s there already, switch up the traditional presentation by creating a version that shows off your eatery’s culinary signature.
For example, if you serve classic American fare, craft a grilled cheese featuring a killer combination of gruyere, white cheddar, and muenster cheeses on freshly grilled, scratch-made sliced white bread. Or if your guests crave authentic Italian, try a prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh basil, and plum tomato sandwich on freshly baked ciabatta or foccacia bread. If your menu offerings include some heat, add diced jalapeño or poblano peppers or a spicy red pepper puree dipping sauce to a monterey or pepper jack grilled cheese flatbread sandwich. No matter what, it should reflect the culinary inspiration for your place in a unique way.
As for sides, the classic pairing of a grilled cheese sandwich and fresh tomato soup enhances the flavors of each, but don’t stop there. Try a pairing of hand-cut potato chips or French fries, a small, chopped spring green salad or a medley of fresh berries for something different.
Let local flavors and your culinary tastes guide you as the possibilities are not only delicious, but offer a great excuse for guests to gather and enjoy this American classic for lunch, dinner or a late-night snack. It’s comfort food at its finest!