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The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

A wide variety of cheeses taste great on grilled sandwiches

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A grilled cheese sandwich can be basic, using just bread, butter and one cheese, or a bit more gourmet - think blue cheese with apples and smoked bacon. Whatever type of sandwich you prefer, choosing the type of cheese you're going to use is the first (and in my mind most important) step.

1. American Cheese

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You can be as snooty as you want about this cheese, but the fact remains that most of us grew up with American cheese on our sandwiches. While it's no longer my cheese of choice, when melted between grilled slices of white bread I have to admit it occasionally still hits the spot.

2. Cheddar

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© Image 2012 Jennifer Meier
Cheddar has a crowd-pleasing flavor and melts well, making it a favorite choice for grilled sandwiches. Look for a sharp white Cheddar to bump the flavor up a notch or experiment with flavored Cheddars like spicy jalepeno or hickory smoked.

 

Fillings that pair well with Cheddar cheese include sliced apples, bacon, turkey, mustard, chutney, cranberry sauce and pickles.

3. Gruyere

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© Image 2012 Jennifer Meier
Gruyere is the cheese of choice for the classic French sandwich Croque Monsieur, and for good reason. The sharp, sweet, earthy flavors of this cheese are irresistible. Two similar cheeses that are equally delicious are Comte, and Appenzeller.

 

Fillings that pair well with Gruyere include caramelized onions,mustard, sliced pears,ham and sauteed mushrooms.

4. Brie

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© Image 2012 Jennifer Meier
An inexpensive Brie works perfectly fine, adding richness and mild flavor to a sandwich grilled on french bread.

 

Fillings that pair well with Brie include fruit spreads, avocado, turkey, sauteed mushrooms, olive tapenade, pesto and sliced apples.

5. Blue Cheese

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© Image 2012 Jennifer Meier
Blue cheese makes an especially good sandwich on bread studded with nuts and fruit. Or, use plain bread and add fillings such as bacon, arugula, sliced pears and honey.

6. Manchego

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© Image 2012 Jennifer Meier
Manchego is one of the most popular Spanish cheeses imported into the US. Slightly sharp and salty, it melts well without becoming gooey.

 

Fillings that pair well with Manchego include quince paste, serrano ham, chorizo, olive tapenade and tomatoes.

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