History of National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Food historians and experts tell us that cultures around the world have been enjoying cheese on bread since ancient times. The modern grilled cheese sandwich that we enjoy today originated in the 1920s.
While we don’t know the creator of grilled cheese sandwiches, we owe its success to Otto Frederick Rohwedder, who invented the bread slicer during the Industrial Revolution. His invention made dividing bread into even slices easier and more affordable. Luckily, shortly before the bread slicer was perfected, James L. Kraft created processed cheese. This meant that cheese could be transported over long distances and not spoil. Each significant in their own way, both inventions revolutionized sandwiches forever!
So who was the genius behind grilling the combination of cheese and bread to create the grilled cheese sandwich? According to government-issued cookbooks, surprisingly it is the American Navy who thought of it or, at the very least, were the first to publish the recipe. Hundreds of “American cheese-filled sandwiches” were prepared by Navy chefs for military personnel during World War II.
The term ‘grilled cheese’ was coined in the 1960s when the second slice of bread was added to the top of grilled cheese. Other popular names were cheese toasty and toasted cheese sandwiches.