For the love of grilled cheese

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Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add one slice of cheese. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted. Enjoy.”

Grilled cheese sandwich recipe:

Two slices of bread

One slice of cheese

Butter

Modern grilled cheese was invented in the 1920s by a man from Iowa who’s considered the “father of sliced bread,” but Ancient Romans had similar recipes written down and the French have been making croque monsieurs (grilled ham and cheese sandwich) since the early 1900s.

Grilled cheese started gaining steam once James L. Kraft patented processed cheese. The sandwich first began as an open-faced with shredded cheese on top, but by 1965 sliced cheese singles were sold in stores and two slices of bread were used to create the sandwich we now all know as grilled cheese.

A simple sandwich, but Everdine’s Grilled Cheese Co. here in downtown Naperville has put their own spin on the classic.

Owners Brian and Kelly Herkert wanted to bring a mom-and-pop sandwich shop to the area, and their mutual love of grilled cheese led them to the idea. “It’s our favorite food,” Brian said. Kelly added that the possibilities are endless with grilled cheese as well.

While you can order your classic cheese-only sandwich, Everdine’s, named after the Herkerts’ daughter, offers options like Mostly Maui Wowie with ham, grilled pineapple and havarti on Texas toast or Eddie Mack & Cheese (named after Kelly’s dad and brother), “macaroni and cheese disguised as a grilled cheese on Texas toast.”

Soup options are also offered, so you can dip your sandwich in a bowl of tomato soup, a practice that became popular post-WWII in schools to add a vitamin C component to their meals. Kelly said she loves that the shop can  bring people back to their childhood since many people can remember their mom making grilled cheese and tomato soup for them.

The love for grilled cheese can be expressed in more than going for seconds. Blogger Nomadic Noesis perfectly sums up the feeling grilled cheese gives us through a poem.

Photo by Allison Hartman

Ode to a Grilled Cheese Sandwich  

Comfort on a griddle
That’s what grilled cheese is
Golden toasted warmth
Full of the forbidden
Things that make you feel so good
Salt and butter and fat
But it’s solace that sticks
To your ribs, the next best
Thing to a hug from your grandmother
A grilled cheese sandwich is the
Stolid best friend of the food world
Securely there, always, unchanging
Sometimes this bare thought is enough
I could have a grilled cheese later
If I feel the need

April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day, so be sure to stop by Everdine’s and pick up a grilled cheese in celebration.

Video by Allison Hartman. Contributing reporting by Allison Hartman, Halle Olson and Madeline Klepec.

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