Have a cup of tomato soup, too
That grilled cheese does indeed look delicious--food for the soul. If you ever saw the movie "Chef", in the final credits, there's a clip of a real chef teaching Jon Favreau, the director and lead actor, how to make a grilled cheese. He uses an interesting combo of cheddar and gruyere, which we've tried and which is delicious. But the cool thing is the reverence with which they both treat his creation. I've never heard anyone associate a grilled cheese sandwich with anything but happiness and contentment. Great story--and a fascinating new angle on Andrew Warhol too.
Jolene -- So glad I found this in your archive from the past. While it does not get the use it once did (three teenage boys was our peak bread era), I will say (despite not owning lots of gadgets), the Panini press is AWESOME. Leave it to the Italians to make grilled cheese to sound even cooler. If you meld it with France you get panini fromage. People would pay an extra couple of dollars for sure. Most everything sounds better when the French or Italians say it. As for the Velveeta, while an acquired taste, the movie Napoleon Dynamite has a great Velveeta cheese scene in it. One thing Illinois and Minnesota have in common is lots of good cheese next door in America's Dairyland :)
I love toasted cheese sandwiches (as we call them in Australia). I always to them in a fry pan and like to mix the cheese - we have ‘tasty cheese’ in Australia, kind of like cheddar + Parmesan. Here in bland cheese land I use cheddar. With smoked ham. That’s a favourite. Mmmm 😋
As usual, absolutely loved this! Thank you for some wonderful food history, lovely photos, and new newsletter recommendations! :)
As always, such a lovely, nostalgic read. It took me back - fondly - to my grandmother's not quite toasted grilled cheeses, and then the swiss-filled ones my mom and I would order to be 'fancy' at LI diners (I'm sure you know some of the ones I'm picturing and they may actually still be there ! !)
And might I add - literally EVERY SINGLE ONE of the images in this post could be framed on someone's walls as art. Truly.
Fascinating! And now I'm absolutely craving a grilled cheese!
It finally cooled down a little last week, so grilled cheese and tomato soup were definitely on the menu. Tomato soup is so satisfying! And my perfect grilled cheese calls for one slice each cheddar and American for the perfect mix of gooey and flavorful.
The most decadent grilled cheese I ever had was made with gruyere!
Jolene: Thank you for recommending my newsletter! So honored to get a shout out. And I love this post! Last summer I shared an end of summer tomato soup which would make a perfect pairing with a gooey grilled cheese: https://newsletter.wordloaf.org/p/end-of-summer-tomato-soup
That first picture of the grilled cheese you made at home looks delicious, and kept me reading until the very end. It’s amazing how you can take something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich and turn it into something mouthwatering and so glorious. The ooey-gooeyness of the cheese along with the perfectly grilled bread makes the perfect picture of pure yumminess. Love it!
When my daughter comes “home” we have grilled cheese with one of my best friends..I got them this print to remember our meals together.
I’m not sure anything quite says love like a gooey grilled cheese.
This information is fascinating! Loved the early Andrew Warhol. My mother always made my friends and me tomato soup (canned I'm sure) and grilled cheese sandwiches. Always American cheese slices though...I'll be indulging when the weather gets cooler!
Lucky you! A market vendor who sells grilled cheese sandwiches! I always order a grilled cheese sandwich at Avenue Bread, one of our local bakeries/cafe. I typically get it with Havarti on rosemary bread. Delicious! You have inspired me to pick up a loaf of crusty sourdough and a yet-to -be determined cheese. This is another post that makes me think of my Mom, who served tomato soup and grilled cheese on a regular basis. "Time Travel Kitchen" is cozy and comforting. Thank you for creating this gem, Jolene!
OMG, Jolene! Thanks for the shoutout and for writing about grilled cheese, including the fascinating historical context. It’s my husband Jeff’s hands-down favorite food (except for chocolate), and if it’s on the menu anywhere we travel, he will order it--with a cup of tomato soup, if available. (I believe he’s posted 100s of pictures of grilled cheese lunches he’s eaten over the years, including some of my making.) I will be trying out your recipe if I can find Butterkäse cheese--if not, with one of the other fine cheeses you mention (though maybe not Velveeta!).
“The Wild Raspberries” spoof cookbook with Andy Warhol and his mom is hilarious--particularly that Greta omelet. Of course, now I want my very own copy, though I doubt I can afford it!
Thanks for yet another superb post!
One of the best comfort foods out there!
Very nice Jolene! My mother used to make cheese dreams for cocktail parties. You spread this cheesy mixture onto cubes of bread and then freeze and bake in a hot oven. Divine!