April 12 – National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

The Ancient Romans were the first civilization to make a cooked bread and cheese sandwich, and it has remained popular ever since. The classic American grilled cheese sandwich dates from the 1920s when inexpensive cheese and affordable sliced bread became available.

Today, there are entire restaurants devoted to grilled cheese, and there is even a Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship.

This year’s contest in on April 27 at the Iowa County Fairgrounds in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. If you go there, you will be able to purchase grilled cheese sandwiches, of course, perhaps from the Chubby Cheese Truck (featuring the Gouda Girls)!

The Chubby Cheese Truck

The Chubby Cheese Truck

These are the competition categories:

Classic: any type of bread, real butter, and cheese. No additional ingredients.

Classic Plus One: a savory sandwich with any type of bread, “butter,” and Wisconsin cheese plus one additional ingredient. The interior ingredients must be at least 60% cheese.

Classic Plus Extras: a savory sandwich with any type of bread, “butter,” and Wisconsin cheese plus unlimited additional ingredients. However, the interior ingredients must still be at least 60% cheese.

Classic Dessert: any kind of bread, “butter,” and Wisconsin cheese plus additional ingredients to create an overall sweet (as opposed to savory) flavor that would be best served as a “dessert” grilled cheese sandwich. However, the interior ingredients must still be at least 60% cheese.

If you can’t get to Wisconsin, no problem! There will be Grilled Cheese Festivals all over the country!

Orange County, California  loves grilled cheese!

Orange County, California loves grilled cheese!

The categories for “sammiches” in the Grilled Cheese Invitational in Los Angeles are quite whimsical:

Love, American Style : White bread, butter, orange cheese (American or Cheddar). NOTHING ELSE.

The Missionary Position: Any type of bread, butter and cheese. NO ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS.

The Kama Sutra: A sandwich of the savory nature, with any type of bread, butter and cheese PLUS additional ingredients, and the interior ingredients must be at least 60% cheese.

The Honey Pot: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, and any kind of cheese, and the interior ingredients of the sammich must be at least 60% cheese, PLUS additional ingredients, and with an overall flavor that is sweet and would best be served as dessert.

If you’re on the West Coast, you can catch the Los Angeles festival on April 20th at Los Angeles Center Studios.

From the 2011 Grilled Cheese Invitational

And there are scores of devotees who, even without access to a festival, at least on this one day, forget lactose intolerance and go for the thickest, meltiest, gooest sandwiches they can get!

Personally, I feel that nothing quite compares to a melty gooey grilled cheese. …except perhaps one served with a vanilla milkshake.

Happy National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

***

This post will be linked to this Saturday’s Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. where bloggers share food-related posts. Stop by her blog and see what’s cooking this week!

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32 Responses

  1. OMG. Bread and cheese? Yes ma’am. And you know what? I may just skip my calorie counting today and go for it, accompanied with a bowl of tomato soup. As you may remember, this is going to be ONE OF THOSE DAYS, so I’m going to need that comfort food. I’m going to dig out ever type of cheese I have in the fridge and use it.

  2. I like a good grilled cheese sandwich!

  3. What a great post? And I’m already craving a grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t even think I have ingredients to make one. Will have to think about whether I should get one somewhere or stop by grocery store and pick up ingredients.

  4. Great post! Now I know what to make for lunch :-)

  5. Interesting info! I’d always thought that sandwiches were down to the Earl of Sandwich, easy to assume when you’re younger and don’t notice the difference between naming and creating. I go through phases of liking them, then I started adding tomatoes and that is difficult to say no to.

  6. The BEST grilled cheeses were the ones from school, They were double dipped in BUTTER and made with three kinds of cheese. One piece of bread was white, the other was wheat. They were soooo good and weighed like 2 lbs. Now I have to make mine with gluten free bread which is not ideal.

  7. Now I know what I’m having for lunch. :-)

  8. That picture looks SO good!!!

  9. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a favorite of mine, and I love them plain, or with other things inside, especially tomato. Great post today. I never even knew about this holiday!

  10. Ah yes, one of the three foods that the babe will eat! Too bad we didn’t think to give her grilled cheese for her lunch today!

    I’m a big fan of grilled cheese and it MUST be eaten with ketchup. Absolutely MUST. Even Elle agrees. ;)

  11. A grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup was my childhood comfort food. Still loved grilled cheese except I have to use vegan cheese these days. My personal favorite grilled cheese invention is grilled cheese and peanut butter. :)

  12. Awesome celebration! I don’t think we’d survive at our house without this staple!

  13. Gotta love those Romans–inventors of the grilled cheese sandwich, awe-inspiring engineering feats that have lasted more than 2,000 years, and Wide World of Sports style entertainment pitting the Christians against the lions! :D

  14. I so love a grilled cheese sandwich (with tomato soup, if possible)!! Is it okay if I celebrate the day tomorrow? I’d no idea…

  15. I am a fan of the grilled cheese as well. the bread must be white (but not Wonder bread type…) but the cheese can go a little more wild. Munster…Gouda…Mozzarella…Provolone or better yet a mix.
    My mother used to open hers after it was cooked and add some jam. Fruit and cheese…deliciouis.

  16. Oh, yummy! Totally love all the different categories and would eat any one of those sandwiches.

  17. Something so simple yet so amazing! I love grilled cheese with avocado slices. Yumm!

  18. Very interesting post. Is there anything more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich? I love it, and this variety sounds good, but I am with you on the original gooey grilled cheese.

  19. I love grilled cheese made with anything but plastic orange slices!

  20. This was always my go to for a Friday evening – with some vegetarian baked beans! Yum!!!!

  21. It’s so funny – I had linked in my Welsh Rarebit dish before I saw that it was grilled cheese day – how serendipitous!

  22. We have a place here called the Grilled Cheese Grill where you order from a huge variety of grilled cheese sandwiches at a window, and then eat at booths inside a converted school bus. I love going there.

  23. They need some tomato soup with those sandwiches, that’s all I know!

  24. Fun! I love the fancier ones with things like tomatoes and swiss chard. 60% cheese works for me!

  25. That looks like an amazing way to spend a day!

  26. growing up, we always had ours with tomato soup sprinkled with caraway seeds. Then in university, the cooks in my residence added a bit of thinly sliced onion,oh what a treat. now adays, I am so lactose intolerant that I can’t eat any dairy. I still make the most traditional version for hubby, but sometimes I get away with a slice a black forest ham with old cheddar. Always served with lots of ketchup. Great post, thanks.

  27. Oh, I meant to mention National Grilled Cheese Day in my post about 150 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches but I forgot! I want to visit Wisconsin someday.

  28. Grilled cheese sandwiches are my absolute favorite. I used to dip the corners in ketchup but now prefer mine with sprouts or avocado instead. I did not know there was a day dedicated to this fantastic food!

  29. Grilled cheese (done right) is divine! It is my go to meal at Friendlys.

  30. One of my favorite sandwiches ever!!!!!!!

  31. Darn, we are 6 days late but…..tonight’s the night “dinner has come down to these”:) pure comfort food.

    I appreciated the history:)

  32. We have a local restaurant. Melt, that specialized in grilled cheese. There’s always a wait to sit. In reality they should have the table hooked up to treadmills or stationary bikes!

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