Of all the asinine, totally pointless "Hallmark holidays" – such as National Boss Day, Sweetest Day and Clergy Appreciation Day – National Grilled Cheese Day, which is today, in case you’re totally out to lunch, deserves some sort of triple-decker, basil, strawberry and goat cheese-stuffed prize.
National Grilled Cheese Day has its own e-card (please remember that e-cards are to actual cards what garage-door openers are to sex), and its own Facebook account (what kind of sad sack writes on National Grilled Cheese Day’s wall?).
As New York magazine’s Grub Street blog put it in a scene-setting piece yesterday: “So apparently tomorrow is National Grilled Cheese Day, because American kids eat way too f'ing much chawanmushi or something and they need governmental help rediscovering grilled cheese.”
Worse still, while National Grilled Cheese Day lasts just one day, National Grilled Cheese Month goes all … well, you know. And it is. It really is.
Later this month, the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese championship will pit 60 crack grilled-cheese chefs against each other. The pressure will be fierce, naturally. Who will butter better?
The final round will take place, no doubt, immediately after the Wisconsin soup-reheating championship, but before the Wisconsin walking-while-breathing championship, and will feature more than $57,000 in prizes from Novartis, the makers of both vildagliptin, the “blockbuster” diabetes drug, and ex-lax, the block buster.
The worst part about National Grilled Cheese Day, however, is that it completely trivializes the reason for the season.
Grilled cheese is bigger than some glitzy Madison Avenue holiday. Grilled cheese can have fried eggs on it, or be made with Manchego cheese and Serrano ham, or with short ribs and pickled caramelized onions and arugula.
Frankly, it deserves better than this. I leave you in the sincere hope that, from now on, you give grilled cheese the respect it deserves. That you learn from others’ mistakes. That you take grilled cheese into your hearts and your lives every day – not just when some opportunistic e-card monopoly tells you to.
I also leave you with the greatest grilled cheese recipe ever written. It uses mayonnaise instead of butter, as well as shaved nuts, of course.
Add ketchup at your eternal peril.
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