Apple pie. Baseball. The Stars and Stripes. Oh yes, these things are pseudonymous with America. But do you know what's more American than these?
Seriously, who doesn't love grilled cheese? If McCarthy were still investigating Communist behavior, disliking grilled cheese might be seen as suspicious. Plus, the numbers don't lie. According to a NY-based research firm, 2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches are consumed annually in America alone. Imagine the total world-wide?
Braden and I had grilled cheese for dinner tonight, hence the inspiration for this trivial tidbit. His, white bread and American cheese, a standard for purists like him; mine, American and provel on 7-grain, my version of gourmet; both, meltiness that reminded me of my youth. Last Sunday afternoon, my mom made my sister and I grilled cheese for lunch. It was the first grilled cheese she had made for me since I don't remember when; yet eating it, burnt edges and all, I felt 8 years-old again.
Add a bowl of tomato soup (and when possible a chilled American brew) and leave the worries of the day behind.
In New Haven, Connecticut, The Caseus Cheese Truck serves gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to students at Yale. On the one occasion my Chaucerian Elizabeth and I found its location, a line of people gathered and waited in the rain for their unique twists on mom's old stand-by. It was well worth the wait, soggy shoes and all. (In my next life, the one where I have disposable income, I will own a cheese truck. Don't live near New Haven, but want to eat cheese grilled in a truck? No need to despair, you can also find grilled cheese trucks in Boston, Portland, and Chicago.)
And if you're truly crazy for the gooey deliciousness, consider attending the Grilled Cheese Invitational held every April in L.A.
But what I really want to know, however, is who do we have to thank for this slice of Americana? Who invented the grilled cheese sandwich as we know--and love--it today?