Dear BuzzFeed: There Isn’t Just One Way To Make The Perfect Grilled Cheese

Dear BuzzFeed:

To say I’m a fan of BuzzFeed is an understatement. I fully appreciate your listicles and I spend way too much time taking every quiz that tells me everything I want it to tell me. But you’ve really crossed the line this time. You’ve simply gone too far. Now, I’m genuinely concerned you struck a chord that I fear cannot be repaired. What was your alleged crime, you ask?

The End-All Guide To Achieving the Perfect Grilled Cheese

Really BuzzFeed? I honestly thought you were better than that. I thought we were on the same level when it came to food appreciation. My disappointment knows no bounds right now. I care deeply about food and in a way that I 100% admit is unhealthy on a psychological level. People that follow me on social media most definitely cannot stand how frequently I post photos of food that could give you a heart attack simply from looking at it. But it’s fair to say that I take this pretty seriously, this assertion of yours: that you can slap a rigid formula onto how to prepare the “perfect grilled cheese” – in 10 simple components – and then mess it up so badly!

image - Flickr / Maggie Hoffman
image – Flickr / Maggie Hoffman

If you’re going to go there don’t you think you should give the grilled cheese the respect to which it is entitled? What if some unfortunate tween, who for some godforsaken reason has never experienced the grilled cheese making process, or come to appreciate the grilled cheese in all of its glory yet, stumbles upon your article and then never fully experiences the cornucopia of grilled cheese possibilities? Or because of you makes a soggy grilled cheese? Shame on you, BuzzFeed. If you’re going to let your “partner” aka sponsor, aka Kraft Cheese, write an article for you, please ensure that you don’t offend your readers by feeding them abhorrently misguided information – especially when it comes to food people love.

More specifically:

1. You definitely do not have to use American cheese exclusively.

Seriously, this would just be limiting yourself unnecessarily. It’s one thing if you’re going for a “classic” grilled cheese then sure there is something to be said for going Kraft Single. But let’s clarify that then because perfect grilled cheeses do exist outside of Kraft. Further, if you’re going for a classic, then don’t show me pictures of peppers and mushrooms and bacon because then we’re venturing into experimental territory re: grilled cheese. Make up your mind. Either you can throw in some random stuff or you’re going straight classic. Straight classic is bread, buttered, with cheese, and nothing else. But to say that no other cheese can contribute or participate in a perfect grilled cheese scenario, well, please just stop being so silly. You’re doing a grave disservice to the versatility of the grilled cheese.

image - Flickr / Dan4th
image – Flickr / Dan4th

2. “Plan on cooking this masterpiece in a cast-iron skillet or griddle.”

This is so terrifyingly untrue I could cry. First of all, while I respect this avenue of preparation for a classic, you are once again minimizing the feelings of all other grilled cheeses in a way I feel is downright unjust. Clearly, this “connoisseur” of all things grilled cheese (#ISeeYouKraftCheese) failed to factor in the importance of a sandwich-maker grilled cheese. Literally I am “shaking my damn head” @ you BuzzFeed and Kraft, who should both know better. Yes, I’m referring to that saintly machine that costs a whopping $19.99 at Target, or wherever else, that gives you an entirely different genre of grilled cheese experience – one that is apples to the oranges of the frying pan grilled cheese. For lack of better words, these sandwich-maker grilled cheeses will most assuredly “make you feel some typa way.” In what, 30 seconds, you are blessed with sealed pockets of hot gooey cheesy euphoria. Signed, sealed, delivered – they’re yours. It is no better, nor worse, than a frying pan grilled cheese – it just really depends on what grilled cheese mood you’re in. So, let’s not act like there is only one way, or shape, that the perfect grilled cheese comes in. I don’t care how good a frying pan grilled cheese tastes (#heavenonearth), sometimes that little triangle of bread and cheese-goo is like a full-blown religious experience, okay?

image - Flickr / TheSeafarer
image – Flickr / TheSeafarer

3. Halving.

That brings me to my next point…. who says you have to half your grilled cheese into baby rectangles? Who are you, the Yellow King of grilled cheeses? First of all, as previously alluded to, halving into rectangles may not necessarily be as satisfying as having into triangles. Don’t underestimate the isosceles triangle, okay. Also, what’s so wrong with just GOING IN on an uncut grilled cheese? “You MUST slice it in half” – actually I DON’T have to do anything, Kraft/BuzzFeed. If you’ve prepared a solid grilled cheese then IDC how you cut it – that bad boy is going to taste like the nectar of the gods in your mouth REGARDLESS. I will make you a circle-shaped grilled cheese, heck, I’ll even try to remember what a parallelogram is and I’ll make a grilled cheese for you in that shape and then dare you to tell me it doesn’t taste like the same bit of magic in your mouth. Every bite is like going to Never Never Land. So yeah, you can take that as a challenge. Seriously, nobody puts grilled cheeses in the corner like that.

4. Tomato Soup, Shmamato Soup.

Do you really think you can only have American cheese in your grilled cheese yet you’re throwing tomato soup in as a requisite component in your draconian one-size-fits-all equation? Just, no. Hey, if you’re in the mood for tomato soup then that’s one thing. But to imply that a grilled cheese cannot be self-sufficient, or independently satisfying in all of its intrinsic decadence, then I really am in disbelief of your appreciation of the grilled cheese. Quite frankly, I’m hurt on behalf of the reputation of the grilled cheese. Do you really believe a grilled cheese cannot be perfect without tomato soup? C’mon. Just listen to yourself right now. I know you probably immediately regret saying that and it’s okay, I, and other grilled cheese lovers will forgive you (eventually). Just don’t ever act like a grilled cheese needs a tomato soup to put a ring on it before it’s worth something, okay?

image - Flickr / jeffreyw
image – Flickr / jeffreyw

5. “Cover that bad boy.”

Also, just for the record, I don’t know anyone that would put a lid on their “cast-iron skillet/griddle” to speed up the cooking process because that would most likely lead to soggy bread rather than the desired crispy golden buttered bread effect. Heat, condensation, science things, experience… Rome may not have been built in a day but grilled cheeses also don’t require the effort of constructing the Pyramids of Giza. They just don’t take that long to make in the first place. If you’re going to advocate for buttering your bread pre-panning, then don’t contradict yourself by advising people to then prepare themselves soggy grilled cheeses. That is just rude and frankly offensive to grilled cheese lovers worldwide. TC mark

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