Croque Monsieurs & Other Ways the World Makes Grilled Cheese

Contributor
In other countries, the grilled cheese sandwich goes by different names
Croque Monsieurs & Other Ways the World Makes Grilled
Thinkstock

For Australians, there’s nothing simpler or tastier than a vegemite grilled cheese sandwich with melted cheese on one side and vegemite on the other.

Layers of cheese melted between two slices of bread — a simple idea with a worldwide reputation. The grilled cheese sandwich is beloved by many cultures around the world, made with different types of bread and cheese and some with additional ingredients.

Croque Monsieurs & Other Ways the World Makes Grilled Cheese (Slideshow)

It was first widely eaten in the United States as a cheap meal during the Great Depression, when money was low and cheese and bread were some of the least expensive food items. During World War II, grilled cheese was a common snack served in the military, and U.S. government cookbooks from the time describe grilled cheese as “American cheese filling sandwiches.” Now, we eat grilled cheese as a late-night snack, as a gourmet sandwich in restaurants, and really any time we feel like it.

Around the world, the grilled cheese sandwich goes by other names. The French equivalent, a Croque Monsieur, is made by melting Gruyère cheese over a ham sandwich as well as inside of it. A Croque Madame is the same but with a fried egg on top. In South America, the traditional arepa becomes a cheese arepa when cheese is melted in the middle or baked into the dough. For Australians, there’s nothing simpler or tastier than a vegemite grilled cheese sandwich with melted cheese on one side and vegemite on the other.

Bauru — Brazil

Named after the Brazilian city in which it was created, a “Bauru” is made with mozzarella cheese melted in a bain-marie over roast beef slices, tomato, and pickles on a French bun — with the soft inside of the bun removed.

Bombay Masala Cheese Toast Sandwich — India

A popular street food in Mumbai, the Indian version of a grilled cheese sandwich is called a Bombay Masala Cheese Toast Sandwich and is prepared with a green chutney sauce, mashed potato filling mixed with various spices, masala, and a few vegetables like onion and capsicum.

See how more grilled cheese sandwiches are made around the world.

Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.

 

Related Links
8 Tips for Making the Best Grilled Cheese With Kids15 Ways to Serve Grilled Cheese at Your Bash12 Jazzed-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes for Grown-Ups (and Kids, Too)Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S.12 Delicious Takes on Grilled Cheese Sandwiches