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How Did The Grilled Cheese Come About?

April is here, which means it’s National Grilled Cheese Month! We must admit, our love for the warm and gooey grilled cheese sandwich knows no limits. For our fellow grilled cheese lovers, here are some fun facts about the grilled cheese you may or may not have known.

  • Approximately three-quarters of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese per month.
  • The French have been making the famous Croque Monsieur (fried/grilled cheese and ham sandwich) since the early 1900s.
  • Our grilled cheese sandwich traces back to the 1920s, when the “father of sliced bread” invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
  • Shortly before that, James L. Kraft patented processed cheese (his pasteurizing process ensured that cheese wouldn’t spoil, even when transported long distances). This “factory cheese” was nothing fancy; it was simply an inexpensive, nutritious, and scalable product.
  • Precursors to the grilled cheese include “American cheese filling sandwiches” which were simply a piece of bread topped with grated cheese.
  • In 1949, around the time when Kraft Singles were introduced, the second piece of bread was added on top, most likely to make the meal more filling.
  • Before it was named a “grilled cheese” most people simply called it a “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwich.
  • As far as cooking method, there are have been many different versions and techniques over the years:
    • A recipe for a “Melted Cheese” appeared in Sarah Tyson Rorer’s ‘Mrs. Rorer’s New Cookbook’ in 1902. The “melted cheese” was to be cooked in a hot oven.
    • In 1929, a “Toasted Cheese” recipe from Florence A. Cowles’ ‘Seven Hundred Sandwiches’ called for the ingredients to be broiled.
    • In the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, which came out in 1939, the ingredients of a “Toasted Sandwich” could either be broiled or sautéed in a frying pan coated with butter.
    • Irma S. Rombauer’s The Joy Of Cooking (1953) instructed readers to heat the bread and cheese in waffle iron for an easy meal.
  • In 2004, the online casino GoldenPalace.com paid $28,000 for a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich with the likeness of the Virgin Mary “burned” on to it. The original owner was a Florida woman who kept the sandwich intact for 10 years.
  • In 2006, American competitive eater Joey Chestnut won the World Green Chile Grilled Cheese Eating Competition. He consumed 34.5 grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting!
  • Annually from 2009 until 2014, Los Angeles was host to the National Grilled Cheese Invitational. It was held during National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month with thousands of people in attendance, whether competing, judging, or enjoying the event.

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Get your grilled cheese sandwich fix at the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Skip the line by using our online ordering system or visit us weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm