I love cheese. But I never knew there was a whole month - this one - dedicated to celebrating the grilled cheese sandwich.
Then I learned Atlantic Cape Community College's Academy of Culinary Arts created some different versions to mark the occasion.
"A worthy endeavor," thought I. And soon I was at my local supermarket learning how many, many varieties of bacon there are, besides the applewood smoked flavor Chef Jon Davies' recipe called for.
I like my grilled cheese made with fresh mozzarella and Swiss, with two thick slices of fresh Jersey tomato in between. I always imagined bacon would make it too salty, especially with a bold, thick cheese like farmhouse cheddar inside.
But I don't cook, so I yielded to the expert wisdom. In the interest of time, I opted for a maple smoked bacon, which tasted just as good to my untrained palette. And the sweetness of the lightly cooked apple was just enough to offset and separate the bolder flavors of the cheese and bacon.
For Chef Annmarie Chelius' sweeter version, I hunted high and low for cinnamon streusel rolls. But alas, even my local bakery was under construction. Instead, I opted for Stoneyfield Farms' strawberry and banana-swirl bread with a coconut butter spread on the outside.
Slightly discouraged by the charred crusts of my first endeavor, I considered putting this one together cold. But journalistic integrity won out and boy, was I glad. Just a few minutes on the heat infuses the slightly tart cream cheese with flavor from the ripe strawberries that's not too sweet, but just right for spring.
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