There are so many options when it comes to grilled cheese sandwiches — and so many freakishly delicious varieties — that it would be futile to try and decide which one is the best (although a very delicious project). So while we can’t declare one type better than another, here are some classic categories that we love:
1. Old-school: The grilled cheese circa 1985. Processed cheese (sometimes called American) that melts perfectly and evenly into a soft, mouth-coating, delicious gooeyness. Eat it while it’s hot, because it reverts back to its solid state very quickly. Questionable, but delicious.
2. Sharpy: For those looking to elevate their grilled cheese ever-so-slightly. Aged cheddar adds a sharp tang that plays nicely off the richness of butter-coated bread. To help the cheddar melt more quickly and evenly, try grating it. Avoid overheating cheddar, as it will separate.
3. Nutty: Despite being Swiss, gruyère (in my perspective, the perfect cheese) makes the ‘Paris’ of grilled cheese sandwiches. Its semi-soft, earthy flavour melts very well and has a serious depth of flavour. Its relatives, swiss and emmental are also good choices; however gruyère is a better melter. Try throwing it on some French bread and it will be over-the-top yummy.
4. Stretchy: For those of you who want flavour as well as the stretchy stringiness of melted cheese, fontina is the best choice. Mozzarella is also good, but it doesn’t have the depth of flavour that fontina gives to a sandwich.
5. Ooey-gooey: There are melters…and then there are runners! Super-soft cheeses like camembert and brie make the most decadent of grilled cheese sandwiches. To keep them from running right off the bread, combine them with another cheese to help keep them in place, or melt them in a sandwich with other ingredients such as sliced apples or meats. Try our gourmet grilled cheese with aged cheddar and thinly sliced apple.
6. Crumbler: Crumbly cheeses such as feta, blue cheese, gorgonzola and ricotta soften more than they melt. They will get warm and mushy, but for the most part maintain their shape. Use these as a garnish cheese on hot sandwiches, sprinkling them over the sandwich contents before heating to add a hit of flavour. Try our grilled cheese with date jam, blue cheese and radicchio.
7. Lux: Lux grilled cheesers want it all. Richness of flavour, good melting quality and a general decadence. Some of my favourites that fit in this category are taleggio, a soft Italian cheese that is spread on your bread before you make your grilled cheese (it can be a runner so grill it quickly). Young asiago makes a delicious sandwich, slightly milder than aged asiago and a really good melter. Aged provolone is another favourite.
Try one tonight! Here are seven gooey, savoury recipes that take grilled cheese to the next level:
Originally published February 20th, 2015.