Feb 2, 2008

grilled cheese sandwich

around 11pm every night, i experience and succumb to the urge to make a grilled cheese sandwich. specifically, slices of light seeded rye or sweet white bread and an 1/8" slice of extra-sharp, crumbly cheddar dusted with cayenne and fresh-ground black pepper, grilled without butter on a cast-iron griddle. (previous incarnation!) my obsession with sandwiches perhaps verges on the pathological. when i was at the goog, colleague nate and i would sometimes go for days on sandwiches alone; he went to michigan and ann arbor is home to the legendary zingerman's reuben*, so also has Strongly-Held Views about sandwiches.

the only acceptable cheese to use is an extra-sharp cheddar--wrapped slices of "american cheese" are only tenuously identifiable as cheese and are almost certainly a crime against nature. when trader joe is too far away (he carries english coastal cheddar, aged over a year and filled with inclusions of calcium lactate; also inexplicably inexpensive), cabot makes a much more widely-available extra-sharp white cheddar, available in 2-pound blocks. after years of careful experimentation, i have concluded that large chunks of firm aged cheese are best stored wrapped in a single layer of unbleached paper toweling or muslin inside a sealed ziploc bag, wherein they will last for up to 6 weeks without diminution of quality.

please pistol-whip anyone who makes a grilled cheese sandwich out of wonder bread for reasons other than pure irony (that also being the sole contingency in which "american cheese" is acceptable). here in cambridge, we rejoice daily in iggy's bread of the world. they make, apart from very good artisanal breads, industrial-size loaves of rye, sourdough, and sweet white. i've never found these in stores but have discovered A Secret Location where i get these loaves thin-sliced for half-price.

* its fame is such that it even has merch:

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