14 April, 2009

O, holy month redux

It seems every month is a national something-or-other. I recently posted this on my kids' blog, but since that is private I'm re-posting here in its entirety, with a few minor tweaks. I know, perhaps that lacks imagination, but here it is nonetheless:

April is National Grilled Cheese month! How is it possible I've not heard of this in all my thirty-something years? This has got me thinking that I don't, in fact, love the grilled cheese sandwich as much as I think I do.

I love
cheese. I love bread, and I really love them together. So is it any wonder that grilled cheese is my all-time favorite food? So crisp yet gooey and cheesey. I'm not sure how, within moderation, you can possibly go wrong with bread and cheese, particularly melted cheese.

A little history lesson, courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner:
According to Foodtimeline.org, cooked bread and cheese were popular among many ancient cultures but the earliest recipes can be found in Ancient Roman cookbooks. Today’s grilled cheese sandwiches derived from some of these early recipes. The actual inventor of the sandwich is unknown, but the modern grilled cheese sandwiches many American families are familiar with today date back to the 1920s. Sliced white bread and American cheese were popular in many markets and very inexpensive. Thus, the sandwich was a cheap and easy to make treat.
It's simple - bread, cheese, butter - and yet it's not really because the possibilities are endless. What kind of cheese? What kind of bread bread, and how thick? Then there's how you make it and plate it, from the greasy spoon to gourmet everyone has their own version. I love that Roadfood features Pacific Oyster Bar's version with Tillamook and shrimp (it's in Oregon, duh) where the shrimp are sustainable! (Couldn't resist, I just had to throw that in there.)

Even at it's worst, it can still be pretty finger lickin' good, unless we're talking American on white bread - blech. I prefer whole wheat or sourdough bread and colby jack cheese; right now I'm liking Trader Joe's multigrain cracked sourdough. And it's always, repeat always, cut in triangles. Sometimes gruyere/sharp cheddar/bleu cheese, tomato or basil join the party. And tomato soup has a standing invitation, too - I like the
roasted red pepper and tomato soup from Pacific Foods for a little kick. 

So here's some cheesey goodness in honor of this most sacred of months:

What's yours?

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