The grilled cheese sandwich is a staple of simple and delicious cuisine; Simple enough to allow just about anybody to make it, and delicious enough for anybody to enjoy it. Of course a simple food should go hand in hand with a simple food, but is 'Grilled' truly the most fitting word to preface 'Cheese Sandwich' in this case? It is absolutely true that the meal has been prepared with the use of a grill, and may have originally been prepared by these methods, but it seems that recently the grilled cheese sandwich has spent a great deal of time away from the grill.
Grilled cheese sandwiches can be either homemade or prepared at a restaurant, but the real eye opening fact is that they are often served without any visible grill marks. Every now and then you will run into the local bar and grill and get a true grilled cheese sandwich right off the grill, but times are changing and the frying pan, griddle, and broiler may be overtaking the trusted grill. Whether or not this is a change for the better, or for the worse is hard to say. Differences can arise in the final product when the preparation process is changed, but as we all know: it can be very difficult to make a bad grilled cheese sandwich.
Grill marks are clearly the signature of any grilled meal. From cheeseburgers to steaks to wraps to the trusty grilled cheese sandwich, nice bold grill marks really let you know it is straight off the grill. Some people may enjoy the crunchier taste of the grilled bread, while others may find darkened marks and the crunchier texture to be displeasing. Another common trend that may go along with truly grilled sandwiches is a much smaller amount of butter used if any, compared to other means. This subtle change may actually create a new dining experience and perhaps the make the meal a tad more diet friendly.
A more common observation may be the ever enticing golden brown grilled cheese sandwich that glows on the plate. Rich with butter and sure to have that authentic buttery, cheesy, hearty taste any grilled cheese sandwich should deliver, just about everybody should be able to relate to this type of sandwich. A golden brown sandwich like this is fried or broiled, and comes with a lot more butter and questionably a lot more flavor then its grilled counterpart. A common side effect of indulging in a meal like this is a greasy plate and some greasy fingers; this may be just fine with some people but may also be a huge turn off to others.
Personal preference reigns supreme when it comes to food. One of the most obvious factors in choosing something to eat is clearly how much you like it, and the key word in the previous statement is you. A grilled cheese sandwich that is actually grilled may deliver crunchier bread with more focus on the cheese, while a fried or broiled sandwich may be rich with a buttery flavor to complement the cheese. Discerning between which option is the ultimate dining experience is impossible, and the best candidate is going to be whichever appeals to your palette.