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You probably have memories of eating grilled cheese sandwiches as a child and now from time to time you probably make them for your own children. This classic comfort food is a quick and easy go to for lunch, snack or maybe even dinner.

Delicious cheddar cheese melted between two slices of crispy buttery bread. Grilled cheese sandwiches are known around the world; they even have their own holiday, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Tuesday April 12, 2016.

Fun Facts about the Grilled Cheese:

  1. ¾ of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese per month.
  2. When affordable sliced bread and inexpensive cheese became available in the 1920’s, the grilled cheese became a household staple because it could be made cheaply and easily.
  3. It didn’t start out as a sandwich. When the grilled cheese gained popularity it consisted on one slice of bread topped with shredded cheese. The second slice of bread wasn’t added until the 1960’s making it a sandwich.
  4. Between the 1920’s and 1960’s, the sandwich was known as the “Cheese Dream”, “Toasted Cheese”, or the “melted cheese”.
  5. The World Record for eating grilled cheese sandwiches is 47 in 10 minutes in 2006.

A classic grilled cheese is prepared by melting butter in a pan, placing one slice of bread in the pan, top with slices of cheese and place another slice of bread on top, cook until golden brown, flipping once.

Do you prefer a classic grilled cheese or do you like to change it up? Here are some cooking techniques and grilled cheese variations to try on Grilled Cheese Day.

Techniques for making a grilled cheese:

  • Instead of slicing cheese, grate it.
  • Butter the bread, not the pan.
  • Use a non-stick pan.
  • To melt cheese faster and prevent the bread from burning, cover the sandwich for most of the cooking time.
  • Before digging in, allow your sandwich to cool just enough to be able to taste all the flavours.

Grilled Cheese Variations: You can use whatever flat bread you prefer.

  1. Classic Sandwich: 2 slices cheddar, Monterey jack or Swiss cheese between 2 slices country white bread; cook, flipping once, until golden.
  1. Bacon and Tomato: Make Classic Grilled Cheese (No. 1), adding 3 slices crisp bacon and 1 slice tomato between the cheese.
  1. Triple Cheese: Make Classic Grilled Cheese (No. 1), using 1 slice each cheddar, Muenster and Swiss cheese.
  1. Ham & Swiss: Make a classic Grilled Cheese (No. 1), using sliced Swiss cheese and ham.
  1. Avocado: Toss 1/4 sliced avocado with lime juice and lime zest to taste. Make a classic Grilled Cheese (No. 1), adding pepper jack cheese slices and the avocado. Cook, flipping once, until golden.
  1. Roast Beef and Brie: Spread 2 slices sourdough bread with dijon mustard and brie (remove the rind). Sandwich with some caramelized onions and 1 slice roast beef. Cook, flipping once, until golden.
  1. Pizza: Spread 2 slices Italian bread with marinara sauce and sandwich with 1 slice provolone, 2 slices pepperoni and 1 slice mozzarella. Cook in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
  1. Macaroni: Spread 3 tablespoons warm macaroni and cheese on 2 slices potato bread. Drizzle with hot sauce. Cook, flipping once, until golden.

Naturally the best way to celebrate Grilled Cheese Day is to make and eat your favourite version of a grilled cheese sandwich, enjoy!