|Main ingredients||Cheese, bread|
|Ingredients generally used||Butter, margarine, mayonnaise|
|Variations||Grilled cheese, cheese dream, cheese toastie|
A grilled cheese sandwich or cheese toastie is a hot sandwich made with one or more varieties of cheese (a cheese sandwich) on bread. It is typically prepared by heating cheese between slices of bread, with a cooking fat such as butter, on a frying pan, griddle, or sandwich toaster, until the bread browns and the cheese melts. Melt sandwiches are variations using additional ingredients, such as pepperoni, tuna salad, or ham. Grilled cheese is not typically made by grilling.
The cheese dream, an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich, became popular in the U.S. during the Great Depression. U.S. government cookbooks describe Navy cooks broiling "American cheese filling sandwiches" during World War II.
A grilled cheese sandwich is assembled by creating a cheese filling, often Cheddar, between two slices of bread. It is then heated until the bread browns and the cheese melts. It is sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes, or onions, though many other ingredients may be used. Several different methods of heating the sandwich are used, depending on the region and personal preference. Common methods include being cooked on a griddle, fried in a pan, or made in a panini grill or sandwich toaster. This last method is more common in the United Kingdom, where the sandwiches are normally called "toasted sandwiches" or "toasties", and in Australia, where they are called "jaffles". Other methods such as baking in an oven or toaster oven, or in a toasting bag in an electric toaster, may be employed.
Some restaurants, food carts and food trucks in the United States specialize in the grilled cheese sandwich. The Grilled Cheese Grill restaurants are a combination of reclaimed vehicle and food cart restaurants that focus on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches in Portland, Oregon. The Grilled Cheese Truck is an American food truck company serving gourmet "chef driven" grilled cheese sandwiches. The company started in Los Angeles, California in 2009, and has since expanded throughout Southern California, Phoenix, San Antonio and Austin. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen is a restaurant in San Francisco, California that specializes in the sandwich.
During the Depression, when Sunday Night Suppers became a popular way to entertain, the cheese dream began to appear on dining tables from coast to coast.