Today Ryan Learned the Origin of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled cheese is a great go-to for a quick and filling meal, but who can we thank for first creating this deliciously simple comfort food. I took to the internet to find out so you don't have to.I probably eat two to three grilled cheese sandwiches a week. They're perfect on nights when I get home late, or as a quick lunch on the weekends. I like to mix my cheeses up. Sometimes I'll go traditional with a couple of slices of American Cheese, sometimes I throw a slice of Provolone in there, or if no sliced cheese is available (because I've used it all making grilled cheese sandwiches), I'll use whatever shredded cheese we have in the fridge which could be anything from Mozzarella to Cheddar, or even Colby Jack. I'm an equal opportunity cheese consumer.
("Pro" Tip - Sprinkle a little garlic or seasoning salt on the bread after you butter it for an extra flavor kick. Personally, I like Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning for a little extra spice. But I digress.)
The reason I'm writing this isn't to tell you how to make grilled cheese, or how I prefer to "gourmet" mine up. I'm writing this because as I was making one the other night for dinner, I thought, "Who's marvelous idea was this in the first place? They should be considered for sainthood for they have clearly done the Lord's work here."
It didn't take long for me to find out.
According to the GrilledCheesery.com, historic records show some form of grilled cheese dating back as far as ancient Rome. But as for it's popularity here in the states, it's more recent than I thought it would be.
Grilled cheese first became a thing here in America in the 1920's after Kraft Foods (then known as the J.L. Kraft & Bros. Company) figured out a way to pasteurize cheese to keep it fresh for long periods of time, and Otto Rohwedder revolutionized the world with his sliced bread machine. It was first served open-faced with shredded cheese, until some curious-minded individual probably said something like, "what if we put another piece of bread on top?"
The grilled cheese became a staple during the Great Depression of the 1930's as both bread and cheese were two of the more inexpensive foods available to a public who had little money to spend. A few years later, the Navy served it to soldiers during World War II on a regular basis.
So there you have it. While no one person is credited with the grilled cheese as we know it today (pictured above), you at least have an idea of how it got it's delicious start in the first place.