Happy National Grilled Cheese Day! Why grilled cheese is the best cheese


Grilled cheese

“Toast,” in Israel. “Toastie” in England. “Kasarli” in Turkey. “Croque monsieur” in France. “Roasted cheese” in Scotland. “Grilled cheese” in the United States.

Grilled cheese. It’s called by many names around the world. It’s made in different styles and to different tastes. It’s a staple food for not just college students but most people in the world.

The Perfect Grilled Cheese from Alexa Maslowski on Vimeo.

Video featuring Stacy Graham, a junior marketing major at Kent State University, making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Grilled History

With a storied history dating back to the time of the ancient Romans, the grilled cheese sandwich is one sandwich that never seems to age. Considering one of the most common types of cheese used in American grilled cheese is the preserved-in-clear-wrap Kraft American Singles, a 104-calorie slice of golden cheddar heaven, the melted, gooey creation is often associated with America right alongside the cheeseburger.

8 Steps to a Simple Grilled Cheese

1. Butter one slice of bread on both sides

2. Place the slice into a hot frying pan

3. Place cheese slices on the bread slice

4. Butter the second slice of bread

5. Place on top of the first slice frying in the pan

6. When cheese begins to melt, flip entire sandwich over

7. When both sides are gold crisp, flip onto a plate

8. Eat and enjoy.

Simple ingredients and a simple process is culinary magic that has last for thousands of years. What seems to have begun as simple grated goat cheese on oven-fired bread loaves has turned into a modern classic so easy and cheesy to make it’s a shame if someone doesn’t know how.

It wasn’t until a man by the name of James Kraft began pasteurizing cheese, preventing milk curds from spoiling — and thus inventing “process cheese” — that the real grilled cheese revolution began. The year was 1916. Up until that point, cheese was created on a small scale and in small batches. Then, Kraft began producing en mass “a sterilized product made by heating Cheddar at 175 degrees for 15 minutes while whisking it continuously.”

After experimenting with various ways to cut and package individual slices of cheese, Kraft finally worked out the solution more than 30 years later in 1950 with Kraft De Luxe Process Slices. These later developed further into the American Singles. Combined with the rise of inexpensive and commercially produced loaves of bread, the grilled cheese sandwich quickly became a go-to household meal. By 2009, the NPD Group inc. estimated that Americans eat 2.2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches each year.

Exemplary achievements in cheese

It’s not just Americans that make good grilled cheese sandwiches. In August 2013, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the United Kingdom’s leading society for chemistry research, released a secret recipe: the “perfect cheese on toast.”

“As the result of tests we carried out in our Chemistry Centre kitchen, we found that the perfect slice can be made by melting 50 grams of sliced hard cheese, such as cheddar, on a slice of white bread, 10mm thick, under the grill,” said Ruth Neale, the Science Executive of the society, in a press release. “The cheese on toast should sit at a distance of 18cm from the heat source – which in our grill was at a temperature of 115 C – and needs to cook for four minutes to achieve the perfect consistency and taste.”

What may seem like a farce is in reality an actual experiment conducted in 2013 by the scientists at the society. Neale explained in the release, which included a mathematical formula for the perfect sandwich, that the experimenters worked closely with the cheese expert Nigel White, the Secretary of the British Cheese Board, to determine the exact qualifications for the formula winner. Based on the type of cheese and bread used, along with the texture and flavor of the final product, the group created the exact recipe and released it for the world’s grilling pleasure.

The mighty grilled sandwich also has an entire national holiday named in it’s honor. Set to be celebrated April 12 in 2015, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day was established to celebrate the comfort food of choice for millions of people in America and around the world.

Contact Alexa Maslowski at [email protected]. Contact Matthew Merchant at [email protected].