Its April 12th – happy National Grilled Cheese Day. Here are some ways for you to celebrate the holiday. From a basic grilled American cheese sandwich on white bread to an asiago panini, there are endless variations on the lunchtime favorite.
You can also find special deals on National Grilled Cheese Day including, in some places, free sandwiches. We are going to review some of the places where you can find the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the US, and the history of the grilled cheese.
Last, we have some tips and tricks for taking your grilled cheese to the next level.
1. Some Restaurants Offer Special Deals Today
Across the country, the restaurant industry is celebrating National Grilled Cheese Day. To see if any local restaurants are offering special deals on grilled cheese today, try searching on Groupon.
If you happen to live in the New York area, you are in luck. You can score a free grilled cheese today by visiting these restaurants. Jumping to the West Coast, you can find special deals in the Bay Area by looking here.
Of course, you do not need to eat out to enjoy National Grilled Cheese Day. Here is a list of 50 great recipes for you to try at home courtesy of the Food Network. Or, you can try the recipe for this $15,000 award winning sandwich. If you have your own favorite recipe that you think beats all the competition, you can enter it in a grilled cheese recipe contest here.
2. James L. Kraft Is Credited With Inventing Pasteurized Cheese
In the early 1900s, James L. Kraft used to sell cheese to grocers wholesale. He saw how quickly cheese would spoil and go to waste if it was not sold and refrigerated immediately. Then, in 1915, he found a way to manufacture pasteurized, processed cheese that could be sold without spoiling so rapidly. Millions of pounds of Kraft cheese would soon be sold during WWI and WWII, an affordable way to make filling sandwiches.
Of course, Kraft does not get all the credit for making the grilled cheese as we know it possible. Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Iowa is credited with inventing the first bread slicing machine. He started developing the bread slicer in 1912 and finally perfected his model in 1928. So, the modern grilled cheese became popular in the 1920s.
Prior to Kraft and Rohwedder, there were plenty of sandwiches that were made with melted cheese. In fact, an early version of the grilled cheese was served in ancient Rome.
3. Here Is Where You Can Find The Best Grilled Cheese in America
The Sacramento Grilled Cheese Festival is being held this weekend. If you are in the Sacramento area or can get there and you are a true grilled cheese fan, you should head on over. In addition to sampling some of the best grilled cheeses from across the country, you can enjoy everything from craft beer to bounce houses. There are games, events, competitions and a multitude of delicious dishes to try.
The Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival is being held on June 16, 2018. There will be live music, beer gardens, family-friendly events and contests.
The Denver Grilled Cheese Festival will be held in October 2018; the exact date is yet to be determined. The event benefits children’s literacy and features some of the top chefs in the Denver area. In addition to the award-winning food being served, guests will enjoy a cocktail hour and a silent auction.
The Hampton Roads Grilled Cheese Fest is taking place on November 4, 2018 in Chesapeake, Virginia. Tickets for the event are available for $15 apiece. Several best recipe competitions will take place from best grilled cheese to best tomato soup. The competitors will be handing out samples of their dishes for visitors to try.
4. How To Make a Basic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
If you are a beginner in the culinary world, you are in luck. A basic grilled cheese is simple and delicious. All you need is two slices bread, a few pieces of your favorite cheese, some butter and a nonstick skillet.
Preheat your skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Put the first slice of bread in the skillet, butter-side down. Add the cheese. Add the second slice of bread, butter side-up, and continue grilling it until the cheese is melted. After a few minutes, flip the sandwich. When both sides are lightly browned and the cheese is melted, your sandwich is done.
You can find grilled cheese recipes for beginners all over the internet, but you can go back to the original source of the modern grilled cheese; Kraft. Take a look at Kraft’s grilled cheese recipe collection. You can browse Kraft’s collection of delicious, easy to make recipes and read the reviews submitted by other beginners.
5. Here Are Some Tips & Tricks To Take Your Grilled Cheese To The Next Level
There are several strategies you can try to make your favorite grilled cheese even better. A simple method you can try in order to achieve the perfect melted cheese on the inside and the perfect crispy crust on the outside is by starting your grilled cheese off in the oven, open-faced, and finishing it on the stovetop in a skillet.
Another simple trick is to try a different kind of cheese. Most classic grilled cheese sandwiches use American or cheddar. Treat yourself to a gourmet treat by using gruyere. It’s more expensive but it’s well worth it. Alternatively, try shredding your own cheese and using that instead of sliced cheese from the deli. You will enjoy a different texture.
The bread that you use can also make a huge difference. Food and Wine compiled a list of different kinds of bread to try. You need something that’s thin enough that it will melt properly, but that doesn’t mean you are limited to plain sliced bread.