An Ode to the Grilled Cheese

Dressed up or dressed down, the humble grilled cheese is synonymous with comfort, and can be found on menus across the country - from casual luncheonettes, to elevated fine-dining restaurants. Senior Publicist Georgie Meredith pens an ode to the grilled cheese, and asks the RHC team, how do you eat yours?

As a society, we have a long history with the grilled cheese. We can find references to similar recipes are mentioned in Roman texts, and in the Middle Ages, its thought that cheese-loving Swiss cattle herders would warm their cheese by their campfires at night, and scrape it on to bread. In the 17th century, the French created the croque monsieur, an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich was a popular inexpensive meal in the U.S. during the Great Depression, and during World War II, Navy cooks prepared countless “American cheese filling sandwiches” — as instructed by government-issued cookbooks. 

What to call it is a different story, the actual term “grilled cheese” doesn’t make an appearance in print until 1960s, previously having been known as “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwiches, or a “cheese dream”, a personal favourite. In the UK, it’s known as a toastie and in Australia, it is called a jaffle. In fact, RHC client, Breville was the inventor of the jaffle press – a sturdy electric appliance that perfectly cuts your toasted sandwich into delicious little triangles. 

However, all of this is to say, that the Grilled Cheese is having a moment in New York City… just in time for National Grilled Cheese Day.  At Darling rooftop bar, you’ll find it oozing with 12-month-aged Tomme de Savoie, and topped with a generous dollop of Petrossian caviar; while at Revelie, you’ll see it in the form of a patty melt, stuffed with a ground-beef patty and sweet pickled onions. And at Temple Bar, one of the city’s most iconic and exclusive cocktail destinations, it’s made with sharp cheddar, roma tomatoes, and a drizzle of clover honey.

With National Grilled Cheese Day upon us, we ask the RHC team what their favorite fillings are:

  • Tomato, pesto and avocado! There was a place called Seven Saints on my university campus that truly had the greatest “fancy” grilled cheese. I’d add avocado, and it was divine.” – Kiley Rendak, Account Director
  • Caramelized onions, because I could eat an onion like an apple a la North West. Just adds the right amount of decadence to an already nearly perfect sandwich!”  – Zoe Allen, Junior Publicist
  • I used to go to this retro restaurant called Holiday Snack Bar in Long Beach Island and order a ‘Grilled Pizza Sandwich,’ which was literally just grilled cheese with marinara sauce in the middle. That’s definitely my favorite.” – Madeleine Myslow, Account Manager
  • Bacon! A bacon grilled cheese is so good.” – Ruby Murray, Office Manager
  • I think kimchi and cheese are a match made in heaven. I also love a jaffle with good quality ham and a generous lick of mustard.” – Georgie Meredith, Senior Publicist

Whether it’s a grilled cheese, toastie, jaffle, patty melt, or other variation, we hope you enjoy it just the way you like it on National Grilled Cheese Day.