May 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm
by Paula Chin
These days the classic grilled cheese sandwich is being reinvented by casual cooks and high-end chefs across the country. The sophisticated new combos feature specialty cheeses, artisanal breads and surprise ingredients—think Greek-influenced feta with roasted red pepper spread, French-style Gruyere with pickled and caramelized onions, even Fontina and foie gras. Cafes are popping up with grilled cheese-centric menus, and restaurants are devoting special evenings to this childhood favorite. Try getting creative at home, or just make one like your mom did. Either way, it’s crunchy-gooey good.
- The sandwich originated in the 1920s, when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became widely available.
- “Cheese dream,” an open-faced version, was popular during the Depression. It wasn’t until the 1960s that adding a second slice of bread became common.
- More than 2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches are now eaten in American homes each year.
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Paula Chin is senior editor at Family Circle magazine.