If there’s anything that proves cheese and bread are an unbeatable combo when heated up to melted perfection, it’s the wide range of ways the “grilled cheese” or cheesy sandwich is prepared around the world. While this classic comfort food can be quite simple to make, the grilled cheese can be taken up a level or two by combining meats, vegetable, and a variety of cheese with freshly baked, toasty bread.
From the corn-based arepas of Venezuela and Colombia to the endless variety of Italian panini, the grilled cheese is a ubiquitous food whose deliciousness cannot be denied.
Read on to discover how the world enjoys their version of a sandwich complete with melted cheese.
A jaffle is made with a special iron.
In Australia, grilled cheeses are known as“jaffles” thanks to the jaffle irons they are made with. The iron has two hinged metal plates that create a sealed sandwich, perfect for holding melted cheese and other fillings, like meat and vegetables. , in a sandwich.
Arepas are common in Colombia and Venezuela.
This type of grilled cheese is made with griddle-fried corn cakes and are commonly stuffed or topped with queso fresco, cotija, or feta cheese. They can be made more hearty by filling with stewed meat, seafood, vegetables, or even eggs.
Topping a croque monsieur with an egg makes it a croque madame.
In France, the traditional ham and cheese gets a makeover with gruyere cheese and a blanket or filling of rich béchamel sauce. Often toasted under a broiler, the cheese should be gooey and the sauce bubbling when served.
When it comes to American grilled cheese, anything goes.
From grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with mac and cheese or barbecue pork, to grilled cheese that uses doughnuts instead of sliced bread, the grilled cheese can be made as outrageous or as classic as you want it.
Raclette cheese is a cow’s milk cheese found in both the French and Swiss Alps.
A traditional raclette sandwich is made by melting a portion of a raclette wheel of cheese and scraping it on to a toasted baguette. The sandwich can be filled with meat such as prosciutto and topped with mustard.
Traditional quesadillas are grilled on a comal, a type of griddle.
Quesadillas hail from Mexico and are made by grilling two tortillas that have been filled with cheese. Though simple to make, they can be made more filling by adding stewed meats or vegetables inside the tortillas and topped with items like guacamole and salsa.
The Welsh Rarebit originated in the 1700s.
Also referred to as a Welsh rabbit, this British sandwich is essentially an open-face grilled cheese. It’s made by topping toasted bread with a special cheddar cheese sauce. This indulgent sauce is commonly made with mustard, beer, cream, and butter.
Tiropsomo is an authentic Greek bread.
This version of grilled cheese is made with chunks of feta or halloumi, topped with sesame seeds and baked. Its eaten as an accompaniment to a main dish.
Lángos is a Hungarian fry bread.
This deep fried bread is topped with sour cream, grated cheese, garlic butter, and a sprinkle of salt. It’s a common street and fair food that can also be made with boiled mash potatoes, in addition to flour.
Khachapuri translates as cottage-cheese bread.
This distinctly boat-shaped bread has a hollowed out center that is filled with cheese and topped with a runny egg and butter. Once cooked, the inside is stirred together and used as a dip for the bread. This decadent flatbread is a staple in Georgian cuisine.
The bauru sandwich is popular in Brazil.
An authentic bauru sandwich is made with melted mozzarella cheese with roast beef, tomato, and a pickle. It’s served in a hollowed out French bun and melted in a bain-marie or double boiler.
English toasties are toasted, not grilled.
The English version of a grilled cheese is made in a dry frying pan or griddle with strong cheese like a sharp cheddar. It should be crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. A key difference between a toastie and a traditional American grilled cheese is that a toastie is buttered on the inside.
The Cuban sandwich is popular in both Cuba and Florida.
This tasty sandwich is made with roasted pork shoulder, ham and Swiss cheese pressed between two toasty slices of baguette bread. It’s eaten with mustard and a pickle.
Italian paninis can be filled with nearly anything and vary region to region.
A“panini” is toasted Italian sandwich made with types of bread that include baguette or ciabatta. These thin, crunchy sandwiches are often filled with a combination of meat, cheese, and sauces and are grilled using a special sandwich press.
Braaibroodjie translates to “barbecue bread” in Afrikaans.
In South Africa, this cheesy sandwich is commonly grilled over open coals and offered to guests at the end of a barbecue. They are made with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and/or onions, and a sweet and sour chutney.
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