National Grilled Cheese Month in April celebrates gooey, warm, cheesy, grilled cheese sandwiches which are a staple for people all over the world. Some as-yet-anonymous grilled cheese sandwich lovers likely founded this day as a tribute to their favorite food, and people have embraced these celebrations with fervor. There’s even a special National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day in April to make the celebrations extra special.
History of National Grilled Cheese Month
America’s history with the grilled cheese sandwich has been a long and delightful one. While the world has produced multiple variations of this sandwich, it gained a prominent place in the food world during the 1900s. Many older cookbooks feature recipes for adding cheese between two slices of bread — all with different methods and styles of cooking. One recipe from 1902 recommended a hot oven while another from 1929 suggested cooks broil the ingredients to make ‘toasted cheese’.
The proliferation of these sandwiches was further spurred by the invention of sliced bread in 1928. The sandwich was so popular that government-issued cookbooks during World War II instructed navy cooks to make these “American cheese filling sandwiches.” These sandwiches still didn’t much resemble the grilled cheese of today — one slice of bread was topped with grated cheese to create an open-faced sandwich.
Then, another invention came about. Kraft Foods introduced individually wrapped slices of yellow processed cheese in 1949. One more important addition was made to the grilled cheese — another bread slice to “close” and form a sandwich. And finally, the grilled cheese sandwich as we all know, and love was born.
In all this time, this invention had still not garnered a uniform name and was called toasted cheese, cheese sandwich, or toasted sandwiches. This changed only in the 1960s when this much-loved comfort food was finally called the ‘grilled cheese’.
Since then, recipes for the grilled cheese sandwich have been perfected and innovated, but the core of the sandwich stays the same — two slices of bread safely ensconce some delicious cheese, which is grilled to perfection on a warm pan or skillet.
National Grilled Cheese Month timeline
Canadian James L. Kraft of J.L. Kraft & Bros. Company (now known as “Kraft Foods'') applies for the first U.S. patent on a method of making processed cheese.
Florida resident Diana Duyser notices a Virgin Mary-like shape on her grilled cheese sandwich; she keeps it safe for a decade and sells it to an online casino GoldenPalace.com for $28,000.
Kraft Foods budgets $1.4 billion for marketing grilled cheese sandwiches — they ask MySpace viewers to upload videos celebrating this dish for a chance to win $50,000.
The National Grilled Cheese Invitational is held in Los Angeles during National Grilled Cheese Month, but only until 2014.
National Grilled Cheese Month FAQs
When should you eat grilled cheese?
This versatile dish can be had at any time you prefer. It tastes best when eaten immediately after cooking.
When did grilled cheese become popular?
Food historians trace the popularity of this dish in America to the 1920s. The dish took the commercial markets by storm too, and the U.S. has never looked back.
What bread is best for grilled cheese?
Grilled cheese can be made with any bread of your choice, but there are some classic options you should try as well — basic white bread, Pullman bread, multigrain, and sourdough.
National Grilled Cheese Month Activities
Throw yourself a grilled cheese party
Get in a little self-care time this month; make yourself some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Send an invite to your friends and family too, and have a comfort food party to end all others.
Have fun mixing up recipes
Fill up the middle with mac n' cheese, change up the cheese you use inside, and even use different types of bread — you can go wonderfully crazy creating different grilled cheese recipes. In fact, how about you try one recipe for each day of this month?
Gift someone this comfort food
Know someone who is struggling or who needs a little extra love? Why don't you make them a delicious grilled cheese sandwich or two to show them you care?
5 Cheesy Facts About Grilled Cheese
A different version in different countries
The Mexicans have their 'quesadillas,' the French have the 'Croque Monsieur,' Australians have the 'jaffles' and South Africa has 'snackwiches.'
The most expensive grilled cheese sandwich
According to the Guinness World Record, Serendipity 3 in New York City sells a Quintessential Grilled Cheese for $214, making it the most expensive one in the world.
The 'cheese dream'
Voicing all our thoughts and words, the grilled cheese sandwich was once actually called the 'cheese dream' between the 1920s and the 1970s.
These cities love grilled cheese most
According to UberEATS, these are Baltimore, San Diego, and Cincinnati.
How fast can you eat grilled cheese sandwiches?
We bet it's not as fast as Joey Chestnut, who ate 47 sandwiches in 10 minutes in 2006, making a world record.
Why We Love National Grilled Cheese Month
We love cheese
The grilled cheese sandwich is incredibly cheesy, almost unapologetically so. Who won't want a bite of that?
The sandwich itself is very versatile
We love the fact that we can play around with the cheese, seasoning, bread, and even the butter. One small change or addition to this simple dish elevates and changes our experience completely.
It's incredibly easy to make
The kitchen-challenged and the Masterchef alike can whip up a grilled cheese sandwich within minutes. Anyone can enjoy this simple comfort food.
National Grilled Cheese Month dates