It’s not always easy for parents to remember what it was like to be a kid. It’s hard to understand why a bug can be so fascinating, or how toy trucks or dolls can entertain one for hours. But if there’s one thing that can take you back to your childhood, it’s food.
For example, imagine a grilled cheese sandwich – how the toasted, buttery bread dissolves on your tongue, while the ooze of the cheese cools in your mouth – everything about it has the unmistakable taste of childhood.
And just like you, the grilled cheese sandwich has grown up.
The grilled cheese is the type of sandwich that takes you from childhood to adulthood, and it’s the type of recipe that matures as you do. Gone are the days of American cheese and floppy bread. There are so many twists on the grilled cheese that it’s easy to indulge in the ooey-gooey goodness while still working in some healthier menu items like vegetables and more sophisticated flavor profiles for your grown-up palate.
The foundation of such a sandwich begins with the right kind of bread. Ideally, it should be thick sliced, have a soft texture and a rich flavor. Bread that meets these expectations can now be conveniently found in the grocery aisle with the new Sara Lee Artesano Bread, which has the distinct golden crust and creamy character found in bread made from scratch.
With two perfect slices of bread, a whole world of grilled cheese possibilities opens up.
To better illustrate what these sandwiches might look like, here are three tips to inspire your next grilled cheese adventure:
1. The veggie-centric grilled cheese. Leafy greens pair beautifully with an earthy, salty cheese like Gruyere. These veggie-based sandwiches are about to go mainstream this year, as showcased in the Farm-to-table Grilled Cheese that features arugula alongside a broken egg yolk, adding a veggie focus to an otherwise indulgent sandwich.
2. The Hawaiian grilled cheese. To really create a luau for your taste buds, combine a sweet, buttery cheese like Havarti with a tangy barbecued meat. Further tropical flavors of the Hawaiian Islands can be found in the barbecued-pork and pineapple magic of the Aloha Pork Grilled Cheese, which mixes sweetness and spice all in one.
3. The spicy and pickled grilled cheese. It’s true, you can pickle almost anything. Onions, cabbage and other items are pure magic after the fermentation process, as showcased in the Zesty Grilled Cheese sandwich that utilizes red onion and spicy, artisan pickles. Pair this with a mild, creamy Fontina cheese to mellow out that added zing.
Some people might think eating a grilled-cheese sandwich is a nostalgic throw back to childhood. In some ways it is. But with the right kind of bread, the possibilities for a grilled cheese are truly endless. All it takes is a couple of buttered slices of Sara Lee Artesano Bread and a little imagination to turn your favorite childhood meal into a bold, culinary creation.
April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month, and April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.