According to Serious Eats, the debate over the proper definition of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich has been going on since the invention of it (or at least 2009). Author, Adam Kuban, realized his original plea for facts would be ignored in favor of everyone’s personal opinions
“It seems that the issue never really got resolved, which is fine, because that thread was about “Your Favorite Grilled Cheese,” not “What Defines a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?”
So here, in the form of a time-wasting pseudoscientific poll, let’s put the issue to rest once and for all as far as serious eaters are concerned (at least until the next time the topic arises).
Does an official grilled cheese sandwich (OGCS) consist simply of bread and cheese? Or can you slip something in there and still get away with calling it a grilled cheese?”
Take the poll, leave a comment, or both.
What makes a Grilled Cheese? In my opinion, it’s a press fried personal sandwich in which the filling is comprised of at least 75% cheese that is fully melted. So, there’s no doubt that cheese is the star of that sandwich.
10 years later, I hope the people of the internet have learned the error of their ways & are able to read through my post without turning the comment section into a this or that tit for tat. So, let’s get fancy…
Bread: unbleached white, wheat, rye, sourdough, pumpernickel, marble, challah, ciabatta, multigrain, Pullman bread, English Muffins
Cheese: yellow/white American, mild Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Muenster, Mozzarella, Fontina, Taleggio, Racelette, Asiago, Manchego, Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack, Brie, Provolone, Havarti, Gruyere, goat’s milk cheese, anything that melts!
VEGANS! Try these dairy-free cheese brands: Vegan Chao, Angel Food, UPrise Foods, Tofutti, Violife just like, MyLife Biocheese, Treeline Treenut, Daiya, Green Vie, Miyoko’s Creamery, Sprout & Kernel, Follow Your Heart, Vegusto, Punk Rawk Labs, Kite Hill, (This list brought to you by Huffington Post Australia & Best Products)
or Try: Nutritional Yeast with Chocolate Covered Katie!
Be careful! Too many add ins will turn your Grilled Cheese Sandwich into another sandwich entirely. Add ins are supposed to supplement the sandwich, not take it over.
- Produce: tomato, avocado, onion, jalapenos, pomegranate (with Brie!), pear (with Gruyere!), strawberry (with goat’s milk cheese!), sweet or hot pepper jelly, spinach, yellow squash / zucchini
- Meat: bacon, chorizo, shredded chicken, pulled pork, Italian deli meats, lunch meats, pepperoni, sliced ham, thinly sliced steak, lobster / crab meat, shrimp
- Add-ons: salt & pepper, herbs (i.e. chives), spices (i.e. cumin), seasonings (i.e. old bay), hot sauce, BBQ sauce, ketchup, sriracha, chocolate (with Gouda!), fried egg, sesame seeds
- Method: frying pan, panini press, flat top, grill
- Non-stick: butter, butter + Parmesan, butter + mayo, mayo, Crisco, olive oil
Is a Cheeseburger really Grilled Cheese? No, because the cheese isn’t the star of, but a supplement to the sandwich. Plus, we all know a burger when we see one.
Is a Pizza really open faced Grilled Cheese? No, because the base isn’t bread, it’s specifically pizza dough. Plus, we all know a pizza when we see one.
Is there such a thing as an open faced Grilled Cheese? No, because one classic characteristic of the Grilled Cheese is that the melted cheese is pocketed between two slices of fried bread.