According to food historians, cooked bread and cheese is an ancient food, enjoyed across the world in many cultures. But the grilled cheese of today is more of a modern creation and came about because of two very important inventions: bread slicers and modern American cheese. Thanks to James L. Kraft who, in 1911, invented and popularized processed cheese known as “American Cheese” and to a baker named Gustav Papendick who came up with a way to package the sliced loaves. No one knows exactly when the very first grilled cheese sandwich was made but historians have traced it back to the 1920s. And by the time of the start of the Great Depression in 1929, the sandwich was already an American staple.
From cast iron, to stainless steel, metal presses, and the electric griddle, metal plays a key role in making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The right pan and lots of butter! From the right pan temperature, to the cheese, the bread, the way to cook it, there are endless lists of how to make the “best” grilled cheese sandwich. Turning to the food experts at Epicurious, here are their four easy ways to make the “best grilled cheese sandwich of all time.” They recommend using sourdough bread, American cheddar cheese that you grate directly onto the bread in the pan, a cast iron pan, and smearing mayonnaise (not butter) onto the sides of the bread that lie face down in the pan. For those butter die-hards, follow these five easy steps by Food52 and lather on that butter!
So go on and grab your metal skillet and make yourself a ooey, gooey, Grilled Cheese sandwich. After all, we could all use a little comfort every now and again.