It’s an age old question that has plagued mankind for generations. It’s a question of identity, a look into exactly what makes a man. I guess in this case man isn’t the right word.
When does a grilled cheese stop being a grilled cheese?
The recipe for grilled cheese is simple. You take bread. You take cheese. You stack them together into a sandwich, then you grill it until it’s toasty brown. There are some variations to this. For instance my wife likes to put a large dollop of mayonnaise on it before toasting. I, in turn, like to tell her how disgusting that is and that she is, in fact, ruining a good grilled cheese. I have strong opinions about my sandwiches and that does not work for me.
In the cafeteria at work, there is always a daily lunch special. Some days it could be a salad, other days Mexican. The favorite by far, though, is tomato soup and “grown up” grilled cheese.
You might be asking yourself what makes a grilled cheese “grown up”. It isn’t a newfound maturity to the sandwich. Apparently what makes it a grilled cheese for adults is slapping some ham and bacon on there. I guess when we, as adults, eat a grilled cheese, we are supposed to be thinking, “There really should be more pig on this.”
It appears, though, that this sandwich is having a bit of personal crisis. I mean, it wants to be a grilled cheese. In it’s mind it has always been a grilled cheese. The fact is, though, it has twice as many meats as cheeses. It is a toasted ham sandwich.
There is nothing wrong with that at all. People love ham sandwiches a lot. If you were to walk up to a person and offer them a ham sandwich, nine times out of ten that person would happily take it. That tenth person is probably a vegan, so their sandwich opinion doesn’t really matter anyway. They can season it as much as they want, but a sandwich involving tofu is still just soy mush between two pieces of bread.
On top of that, we have bacon. Bacon is insanely popular. In the last presidential election, I am relatively certain bacon would have gotten at least 50% of the vote. It probably would have swept the south an Midwest in a landslide.
Of course it is a bit of a gray area. The definition of a grilled cheese is cheese melted between to toasted pieces of bread. This sandwich has that. There just happens to be much more in between the bread slices. Is it that much different than my wife’s disgusting mayonnaise? If any sandwich that has been grilled with cheese in the middle is a grilled cheese, what does that mean for the nation’s panini industry?
In my mind, there should be a very clear dividing line for the definition of grilled cheese. You are allowed one additional ingredient with your cheese. After that, it is just a sandwich. A boring old sandwich. Let’s not overcomplicate this.Just because you’re allowed on ingredient, though, does not mean you’re obligated to use it.
Also it should never, under circumstances involve mayonnaise. That’s just nasty.
After reading this to my wife, she has requested that I clarify. It is not mayonnaise, it is Miracle Whip. Either way, it’s still nasty.