The Best Cheese for Grilled Cheese

So I’m just hanging around the house the other day, trying to figure out how I could manage to never shovel snow again for the rest of my life, when the UPS guy drives up and leaves a package at our front door. And this reminded me how I really need to make a better effort to find more local sources for different things that we buy. I mean, having this whole chain of events starting thousand miles away and ending with a poor UPS guy having to drive through a blizzard to deliver a small package with a bottle of melatonin to me doesn’t really seem… sane.

This time, however, it wasn’t a bottle of melatonin.

I brought the box inside, cut the tape, and lift out these things… Five big tins.

They might not look too big in this picture, but they are. They’re really big. Each one is nearly two pounds.

And so I said to Jodi, “Just how much tuna does that temp cat of ours eat anyway?”

And she goes, “It’s not tuna. It’s cheese.”

Then I thought, Oh my God, she’s finally lost her mind.

But she explained to me that this is special cheese called Cougar Gold from Washington State University, and it’s made by college students.

Cheese made by college students. I remember college. I remember what my friends and I were like. You wouldn’t put us in charge of making dirt in a can, let alone cheese in a can.

And that’s when I knew FOR SURE that she’d definitely lost her mind.

But no, I was wrong. You see, WSU has a creamery, and they’ve been making white sharp cheddar cheese in tins since the 1940s. Something to do with the US government and finding a way to make cheese last for a long time in tins. Part of the plan to defeat Hitler maybe? I guess if you’re gonna beat the Nazis, you’re gonna needs lots of cheese in cans.

Well, 80 years later and they seem to have this thing down to a science.

And what are you going to use this kind of cheese for? How about macaroni and cheese? How about a dip? How about…

Grilled cheese sandwiches?

Yep, that’ exactly what we did first.

We cracked open a tin.

Mabel tried to get to it.

We cut a big chunk out of the tin, like it was a cheesecake.

We shredded the cheese.

We cut some homemade bread.

We put some mayo on both sides of each slice of bread (because butter would have torn apart those soft slices I’m told).

We put mustard on the inside slices of the bread.

We put the shredded cheese on top of the mustard, as well as a little bit more cheese on the outer slices, because we can.

We grilled those things until they were just right.

And, by the way, when I say “we,” I mean Jodi.

The verdict? One of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve had in a long time. You should definitely look at getting some for yourself and seeing what the fuss is all about.

College students.

Cheese in tins.

Go figure.

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