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The Art of the Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese sandwich has been a staple in many kitchens since their creation in the 1920’s. Technically, the grilled cheese sandwich is ancient, but it didn’t grow popular in American kitchens until sliced bread and American cheese was readily-available in the twenties. We’ve come a long way since then, swapping out American cheese for different varieties that excite our taste buds, adding different fillings, and testing out different breads.

Toasted crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside hot grilled cheese sandwiches

A classic white bread and American cheese sandwich.

If you’ve ever visited Fair Oaks Farms, you’ve probably made time to stop by our Cowfé for our Almost Famous Grilled Cheese. We combine crisp ciabatta bread with your choice of Sweet Swiss, Mild Cheddar, or Havarti Pepper cheese, to make a melty gourmet grilled cheese of your dreams! You can even add ham, bacon, or turkey, to make it a more filling meal, or order a bowl of our French Onion Pot, Chili, or Soup of the Day!

It may not be convenient for you to come by our Cowfe every time you’re craving a perfect grilled cheese, though, so we’ve thought of a few tips and suggestions to get you what you need!

Cheeses

We offer over 20 different kinds of cheese at our Cowfé and on our online shop. That’s a lot of options, but not all of them make for a perfect grilled cheese. Below are lists, based on flavor profile, of our best cheeses for a grilled cheese.

Mild: Butterkase, Calico, Farmers, Havarti, Havarti Dill, Havarti Onion, Havarti Veggie, Lacy Swiss, Mild Cheddar, Mozzarella, Sweet Swiss

Spicy: Havarti Habanero, Havarti Pepper

Smoky: Smoked Gouda, Smoked Sweet Swiss

Sharp: Cheddar 1 through 10 Years

Fillings

It isn’t just about the cheese! Turn it up a notch and add some creativity into your sandwich. Add some sautéed mushrooms with your Smoked Sweet Swiss, then add a garlic aioli. Caramelize slices of onion to mingle with Smoked Gouda. Cook up some brown sugar bacon to sit between slices of melty Aged Cheddar. Try spreading or slicing up avocado to pair with Havarti Pepper. Use our Mozzarella with layers of pepperoni and marinara sauce for a pizza grilled cheese. Some restaurants have made popular crafty grilled cheeses, such as a sandwich filled with macaroni and cheese! The possibilities are endless, and who knows– you could be creating the next big thing!

Fancy, 3 cheese grilled cheese sandwich with scallions and very thick cut baguette bread sizzling in a frying pan with melted cheese spilling out of the sandwich and bubbling in the pan.

Multiple cheeses, crumbled bacon, and a crispy sliced baguette, complete this grilled cheese.

Bread

Bread is almost just as important as what you put between it. There’s nothing wrong with the classic white or wheat bread, smothered with butter and grilled to perfection. There are other options though, options that could push your grilled cheese to the next level. Here at the Cowfé we use ciabatta, an Italian white bread used to make paninis across the world. Don’t be afraid to branch out and search your local supermarket for fresh baked breads such as Sourdough, Multigrains, English Muffins, Pumpernickel, or Pullman Bread. Whatever bread you use, make sure you spread an even amount of butter or mayonnaise on the outside of each slice to make sure your sandwich grills nicely. Butter is the usual ingredient, but for some breads you can create a crispier grill by using mayonnaise. If you want to get experimental, sprinkle some spices on the butter or mayo as well, such as garlic salt, garlic pepper, or red pepper chili flakes!

Freshly made cheese sandwich with five grain wheat bread on a rustic table

Melted cheddar cheese between thick multigrain bread.

So that’s it, the guide to the perfect grilled cheese! No matter what you create, whether it’s the classic white bread and American cheese, or an experimental sandwich stacked with fillings, you’re sure to create a masterpiece with Farmstead Cheese. You can order all of our cheeses from our online shop — or get a Gourmet Collection to try out a bunch of different recipes! Cheeses can also be purchased at the Cowfé, Dairycatessan, and select grocery stores.

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