This weekend was The Big Cheesy, an annual competition of local restaurants, food trucks, and cheese mongers, to create the world’s best grilled cheese. The ever-humble sandwich of childhood lunches (who doesn’t remember sliced cheddar on buttered bread served with a side of Campbell’s tomato soup?) has come a long, long way. And yes, taste-testing grilled cheese sandwiches for an hour was as amazing as it sounds.
A few of the meatless standouts from the lively throwdown: Sons of Essex did a version with gruyere, goat cheese, and parmesan blend, and added some sautéed mushrooms and arugula. Say Cheese busted out a clever concoction of Swiss, gruyere and parmesan on sourdough, with a schmear of homemade French onion soup compote (they also did a dessert grilled cheese: S’mores on a sweet brioche). Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft did a simple, unassuming fontina and mushroom number that was so perfectly crunchy and gooey that I had to go back for a second sample. See all the competitors’ here.
Looking outside at our wickedly nasty Northeast “spring” (whipping winds and, natch, snow), a little grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch sounds about right for today. Here’s to recreating a classic. xx