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American Contemporary Creative Nonfiction





Honestly, you have never had one of mine. I make the best in the world. Grilling cheese is an art, and most people do not take the time to make it properly. I know everyone believes they can make the best grilled cheese in the world, but actually, there is an art to it. It deserves to be given credit. 


How to make grilled cheese:


Heat 1 tablespoon salted butter in a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.

Press the sandwich slightly and place it in the skillet. Cook until golden on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes.

Flip, adding more butter to the pan if needed, and cook until the other side is golden and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 more minutes.


Now you have the Classic Sandwich: 2 slices of cheddar, Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese between 2 pieces of country white bread; cook, flipping once, until golden. The best part about knowing and falling in love with this sandwich is that it is the base for many of the other sandwiches above – I told you it was going to be your favourite!


But me? I watched those grilling shows and picked up a few tips and tricks. 


I’ve seen people make their bread using pickle juice for water and a Dill Pickle Loaf, then use that bread to make their grilled cheese sandwich. American medium cheddar and that bread together form a delicious sandwich but not the best.


 I say, hmm – maybe, but it should be just unanimous that one grilled cheese is king. 


That’s hard to do when there are Bacon and Tomato: Make Classic Grilled Cheese, adding 3 slices of crisp bacon and 1 slice of tomato between the cheese. You’re likely to find this grilled cheese sandwich in Illinois. 


People from Wisconsin eat this kind of grilled cheese and push it on everyone who comes to the state. It’s the only thing on the menu in their diners when you ask for a grilled cheese sandwich. Then there’s Triple Cheese: Make Classic Grilled Cheese, using 1 slice each cheddar, muenster and Swiss cheese. You know – The Land of Cheese.


Next is the Spicy Nacho Sandwich: 2 slices of white bread with 1 slice of Monterey jack or American cheese, some pickled jalapeño slices and 1 slice of cheddar. Cook, flipping once, until golden that you’re likely to find on a menu in San Antonio, Texas.


Garlic Ham and Cheese: Prepare 2 thick slices of frozen garlic bread as the label directs. Sandwich with 2 slices each Monterey jack and ham. Cook, flipping once, until golden. You’re likely to find this sandwich in Iowa. 


The Californians might be responsible for the Grilled Cheese Fingers: Make a Classic Grilled Cheese, cut off the crusts and cut the sandwich into strips.


If you’re from New Mexico, you’re almost sure to boast about this kind of Crunchy Spicy Nacho Grilled Cheese by adding 1 tablespoon of crushed corn chips with the jalapenos and then putting them on the medium cheddar and grilling both sides until the cheese melts.


The Texans are more likely to steer you toward the Goat Cheese–Peppadew that mixes 1/2 cup cream cheese with 1/4 cup goat cheese and 8 chopped Peppadew peppers. Sandwich one-quarter of the mixture between 2 slices of multigrain bread; cook, flipping once, until golden. 


If you are in New Jersey, one of their 500 diners will have this on their menu as their only grilled cheese sandwich: Diner Sandwich: 2 slices of American cheese between 2 slices of white bread. Spread mayonnaise outside the sandwich and cook, flipping once, until golden. Serve with ketchup.


If you’re an Iowan, your menus read Havarti and Chicken Salad: Sandwich 2 slices potato bread with 1 slice Havarti, 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken salad and another slice of Havarti. Cook, flipping once, until golden as the only grilled cheese sandwich on the menu. 


If you are from Oregon, you will find this Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich as the only available sandwich on the menu. Pesto: Spread pesto on 1 slice of white bread. Top with 1 slice each provolone and mozzarella. Top with another slice of bread and cook, flipping once, until golden.


If you are from Florida or California, your grilled cheese menu item will read Avocado: Toss 1/4 sliced avocado with lime juice and lime zest to taste. Sandwich 2 slices of white bread with 2 slices of pepper jack and the avocado. Cook, flipping once, until golden. 


People from New York will settle for the bigger is better Bagel Spread: a split bagel with mayonnaise and spicy mustard. Sandwich with 1 slice of muenster, 2 slices of salami and another slice of muenster. Cook, flipping once, until golden, pressing to flatten.


If you are from Pennsylvania, you will likely find this grilled cheese sandwich on the menu. Potato Chip: Spread yellow mustard on 1 slice of whole-wheat bread; top with 2 slices of American cheese and 8 potato chips. Top with another slice of bread and cook, flipping once, until golden.


If you are from Louisiana, you will find this Cajun Sandwich: 2 slices of country white bread with 2 slices of provolone. Cook in butter with a pinch of Cajun seasoning on the menu. 


If you are specifically in New Orleans, you will find Muffuletta: Make Cajun Grilled Cheese, adding 1 tablespoon deli olive salad between the cheese on your menu.


If you are a Floridian, you will likely find Roasted Tomato: Toss 4 halved plum tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 350 degrees F, 1 hour; mash. Spread 2 slices of sourdough bread with one-quarter of the tomato mixture and sandwich with 2 slices of cheddar. Cook, flipping once, until golden as the grilled cheese sandwich of choice on the menu.


Another item that is likely to be on the Wisconsin menu is the Blue Cheese and Onion: Sandwich 2 slices of marble rye bread with 1 slice each muenster and soft blue cheese, some caramelized onions and another slice of muenster. Cook, flipping once, until golden as another type of grilled cheese. 


If you are in Fairfield, New Jersey, you might find your favourite sandwich being this kind of grilled cheese. Italian: Sandwich 2 slices of sourdough bread with 1 slice of provolone, 1 slice of mortadella, some chopped pickled vegetables and another slice of provolone. Cook, flipping once, until golden.


In Dearborn, Michigan, you might find this grilled cheese sandwich on the menu. Mediterranean: Spread baba ghanoush on 2 slices of whole-grain bread. Sandwich with 1 slice of Monterey jack, a few thin slices of grilled zucchini, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta and another piece of Monterey jack. Cook in olive oil.


Lastly, if you’re going by my house and would like a grilled cheese. My shingle will be out with a sandwich that looks just like a grilled cheese should look. That will be your clue to come on in; the kitchen is open! Then I'll show you how to make a grilled cheese sandwich that you’ll fall in love with for life. One you'll know and remember like the back of your hand. See the top of this recipe list.






September 02, 2022 19:24

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3 comments

Tommy Goround
14:30 Sep 04, 2022

The pickle one sounded disgusting.

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Lily Finch
14:44 Sep 04, 2022

Pickles are great but not inside a grilled cheese sandwich just on the side. I agree! LOL

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Lily Finch
19:28 Sep 02, 2022

Author note: This is meant to read like a long recipe of recipes. All of my information came from Google Home Mini for the states that produce the various ingredients for the sandwiches. The sandwiches were all courtesy of the Food Network. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/50-grilled-cheese I hope you enjoy it - it took me some time. Thanks, Lily.

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