Serious Eats asks “How Do You Define a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?” I try to answer.

I have been trying, not so successfully or hard, to ask the world how they define a grilled cheese sandwich but have had no luck. Now, Serious Eats asks and they seem to have resounding success. Surprised? Nope, neither am I. As their conversation has grown and and grown, and I felt like my voice wouldn’t be heard, I thought I would voice my opinion right here. Plus, I am all for racking up the posts/hits, considering I have had very little posts besides my Sunday Dinners features.

If you haven’t checked out the post at Serious Eats, here are the four types of grilled cheese sandwiches they have come up with, my choice is bolded:

  • Cheese only! I’m a purist
  • Could have maybe some meat or veg—but only a little
  • Protein-free. No meat (but veg OK)
  • Seriously? Don’t you have better things to contemplate?

As everyone knows, I have debated multiple times as to whether what I have created is in fact a grilled cheese sandwich, (see: salmon sandwich, quesadilla, and eggplant grilled cheese) and will continue to ponder for as long as I blog. My opinion is most likely biased because of my keeping Kosher and the fact that mixing meet and milk grosses me out, but I believe that once you add any sort of meat product, the sandwich has stopped being a grilled cheese. The focus is no longer the cheese, the meat is. That is why, in all honesty, my salmon grilled cheese was more of a salmon sandwich than anything. Sure, it was mighty tasty but that doesn’t matter in the definition.

imagine a different world of grilled cheese is devoted to all things grilled cheese: homemade recipes, news, and fun stories. After reading, you will come to realize that grilled cheese sandwiches can be much more than two pieces of bread and a slice of cheese.

That text has been in this site’s footer for a long time and is essentially the reason I have created this site. I am trying to push the envelope of what people believe a grilled cheese is/can be. Trying to take the grilled cheese sandwich to new levels, while still staying true to the roots of the sandwich (white bread, american cheese and lots of butter). Therefore, my definition falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.

As long as you don’t go overboard with the ingredients and still focus on the cheese, the heart of the sandwich, your sandwich will always be a grilled cheese sandwich to me.

Do you agree or disagree? Are you a grilled cheese sandwich purist or a meat fan? Please let me know in the comments.

Posted in My Take and tagged .

3 Comments

  1. My decision goes thusly:

    Is it grilled or pan-fried in a grill-like fashion?
    Is there a sigifnicant percentage of cheese on it in relation to other ingredients? That is, not just a thin smear of brie or cream cheese.

    If the above two are true, I’d probably call it grilled cheese. Not in the traditional sense that I grew up with (two slices of white bread with one or two slices of kraft singles between them. My mom would toast the bread and then stick it in the toaster oven with the cheese on it, so I didn’t learn that the bread didn’t need to be really dry and flavourless until one day when my dad made it on the stove with a bunch of butter!) but it’s grilled cheese nonetheless. I will agree, though, that if you put on meat, you’re getting dangerously close to a meat sandwich with some cheese on it. It all depends on how much of each ingredient, I guess.

  2. If it is between wedged two pieces of gluteny slabs and there is enough melted dairy product to dribble over the edges…it is grilled cheese. I stumbled it so hopefully you will get a few more intelligent responses than mine. GREG

  3. Thanks guys for your definitions. They both are on the right track, at least in my opinion. And thank you, SippitySup, for Stumbling, although as you can see, no one else decided to add their two cents. Oh well! Such is life, right? This debate will definitely continue on for as long as life goes on…

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