National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

Today we celebrate that classic culinary delight, the grilled cheese sandwich. Though cooked bread and cheese is actually an ancient food, enjoyed the world over, the modern version that we’re most familiar with as kids in the United States has more recent roots. Back in the 1920’s, a man by the name of Otto Rohwedder would become known as the “father of sliced bread” with his invention of the bread slicing machine. His machine debuted right here in my home state of Missouri at the Chillicothe Baking Company. And what’s the best thing since sliced bread? Individually wrapped cheese of course!

Processed cheese had been patented by James L. Kraft even before the bread slicers hit the market. This was the type of cheese that the English referred to as “factory cheese” or “rattrap cheese” while raising up their proper cheddar noses in disdain. Both inventions continued to become popular, but it wouldn’t be until World War II that the Navy cooks started making “American cheese filling sandwiches.” In 1949, Kraft introduced Kraft singles, and by 1965 supermarkets everywhere were selling them. It was this invention that made the grilled cheese rise in popularity and become an American staple.

This was my favorite sandwich as a kid, much to my mother’s pleasure as it was absolutely one of the easiest things to make. It was the first thing I learned to “cook” and embarrassingly remains one of the few things I can “cook” to this day. As an adult, however, I’ve discovered the English were right in their snobbery and I prefer Irish Cheddar that I slice myself over the cellophane doppleganger. Also, I’ve now added tomato soup to the mix, which little Charlie would have raised his nose up at in disdain. But even with the changing times, making a grilled cheese is still one of the best things I can think of to do with sliced bread.

Join me any and all days you like during April by celebrating a National or International Day with a doodlewash! Tag your image #doodlewashaday and I’ll feature everyone who played along on doodlewash.com at the end of the month! 


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue, Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Permanent Pale Green, and Nuetral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second pen with sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
62 Comments
  1. kungfunaomi 1 year ago

    GRILLED. CHEESE. Sweet doodlewash! LOVE the texture on the sandwich, that is brilliant, I love the colors you chose.

  2. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    Grilled cheese made with real cheddar is the only way to fly!! And to think I didn’t like cheese when I was little! I was the princess of peanut butter. 🙂 Nice looking sandwich Charlie and that tomato soup looks mighty fine as well. 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much, Susan!! 😃💕ohhhh peanut was definitely on the top of my list. Yeah…real cheese or nothing for me too!! Hehe

  3. Thank you for figuring out what I’m having for dinner tonight!

  4. paperstew 1 year ago

    Mmmm, I miss grilled cheese! Lovely drawing!

  5. Plover Lock 1 year ago

    Grilled cheese is delicious!

  6. artandmoondreams 1 year ago

    Delicious looking painting, and of my favorite sandwich…though with ‘real’ cheese thank you. lol. Great post.

  7. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    I LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches! And it IS perfect with a bowl of tomato soup! Your doodlewash is making me hungry! 😉 I much prefer cheddar too AND cheese bread really makes it double yummy! lol! So is this what you are having for dinner, Charlie?

    • Author

      Thanks Jill! 💕😃I didn’t get this tonight sadly…Philippe said we needed to be sensible so we had ratatouille instead. 😊 hehe… But I’ll be dreaming about grilled cheese bread!!! YUM!! Lol

  8. Sand Salt Moon 1 year ago

    Now I want one but I just had dinner! Tomorrow, for lunch. A day late … lol!

    • Author

      You and me both, Cynthia!! 😉💕…I didn’t get it for dinner either, so it’s definitely on the lunch menu tomorrow!! Never too late to celebrate this important day, I say!!

  9. Jacob 1 year ago

    Yum yum! Now I wish I’d made myself some cheese on toast today! It’s a little late for such delights now, but thankfully I can keep myself going on your doodlewash and ward the craving off until lunchtime. They’re so good! In line with my fellow Brits, I never did like those singles that much – they didn’t taste of cheese to me. Has to be a nice bit of proper strong cheddar!

    Badly want this now.

    • Author

      I want one now too, but I’m already in bed…they’re soooooo good with a great cheddar!! I’m not sure what those singles are made of, but they don’t quite taste like actual cheese. As a kid I didn’t know any better, though. Hehe …that’s what happens when you’re an American kid. No clue about real food! Lol

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        True – well, it’s not much better here so we really shouldn’t sneer across the pond at you.

        One thing that tastes good in both places though, I’m sure, is BIRTHDAY CAKE! Wooooooooo! <3 Happy Birthday Charlie!

      • Author

        Thanks so much my friend!! 😃😃I will definitely be having something sweet to eat to celebrate the day!! Yay!! Though getting older isn’t a fabulous thing, birthdays are pretty cool!

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        I should hope so too! Hope you’re having a fun day!

      • Author

        So fun!! It was a wonderful day!! Thanks! 😃

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 year ago

    Oh now my next act is your fault, Charlie, because I’m off to make a grilled cheese sandwich, my all time favorite comfort food love, and mine will have tomato slices in the middle.
    Your fault, Charlie, all your fault. Hide the scale. I may have to make two.

    • Author

      I am not feeling guilty at all for causing you to indulge in such a perfect pleasure!!! 😉👍🏻Yum!! Next time, make one for me too, Sharon!! Hehe …so good!!! 😊

  11. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    I just ate dinner, but your grilled cheese and soup is making hungry! I’m sure I’ve eaten thousands of this combo in my lifetime, haha!

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon! 😃💕Haha!! Me too!! I was think about how many times I’ve had this when I was making the doodlewash! So good!! Best comfort food on the planet!!

  12. Teri C 1 year ago

    Awesome sketch! Love the grilled marks.
    I think we all grew up on grilled cheese and tomato soup. And it Wisconsin, it was cheddar cheese. Such yummy memories. Thanks.

    • Author

      Thanks, Teri! 😃💕Yum!! I used to travel to Wisconsin all the time for work! The cheese was the best part of that gig!! Delicious!!

      • Teri C 1 year ago

        Yup! I’m a lifetime cheesehead. Lol

  13. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    This is a million times better than Big Wind Day! <3 😀 Hubby ate a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup growing up, but we've not had any in ages. It's actually a good meal when you're not feeling up to par because it's such a comfort food. You made the cheese look like it's warm and melty…how did you do that?!

    • Author

      Thanks Teresa!! 😃💕 I just couldn’t bring myself to do that one because the little boy in me thought it sounded like a fart and wouldn’t stop giggling. 😊😊

  14. Jodi 1 year ago

    Your doodlewash almost looks better than the real thing – and that is saying something! YUM!

  15. Kari 1 year ago

    I’ve always loved grilled cheese and I did enjoy the Kraft singles version. Now I use whatever cheeses I have from Havarti to Gouda.. And I love tomato-basil soup! Yummy! Delicious doodlewash!! 💕

    • Author

      Thanks, Kari! 😃💕Ohhhhhh…. yes please to Gouda!! So good… smoked gouda is even better! I’m going to gain 10 pounds this month, because I really really want to eat all of this food to celebrate it properly! lol

  16. jmnowak 1 year ago

    Wow…two of my faves in days gone by! You do food good, Charlie! 🙂

  17. debiriley 1 year ago

    perfect Illustration of the all American meal, Charlie!
    took me right back into Time.
    my mom and sister loved these, we ate them A Lot. Since I moved out, loong ago, No More grilled cheese sandwiches for me 🙂 df gf

    • Author

      Thanks Debi!😃💕 I know what you mean… they were a staple and not a really rare treat. I miss those days! These things are delicious!!

      • debiriley 1 year ago

        my hubby likes them, makes them himself!! 🙂
        your painting of them, was Super Great!!

      • Author

        Great hubby ya got there then! Hehe…and thanks!! 😊😃

  18. Just yum…..but at breakfast I preferred to be tempted with your ice creams, and caramel delights ( I guess that’s the naughty but nice bit of me).

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca! 😃💕Haha! Yeah… I don’t think Grilled Cheese is the first thing you think of for breakfast… but… I wouldn’t rule it out. These things are delicious!! Lol Nothing wrong with naughty but nice… one of the best qualities a person can have I say! 😉

  19. I’m with little Charlie on this one. Why compromise the splendour of the grilled cheese sarnie with soup! Splendid painting.

    • Author

      Lol… yeah… little Charlie is happy you approve of his choice to skip the tomatoes and go straight for the blissful cheese! Thanks Michael! 😃

  20. Tori 1 year ago

    Great painting Charlie 😊 A nice strong cheddar is definately the best cheese for a grilled sandwich, yum!

    • Author

      Thanks Tori! 😃💕Agreed! Nothing beats a nice strong cheddar… unless it’s a combo cheese grilled cheese… yum! lol… I really need to stay far away from these. I can’t be trusted. 😊

  21. I love good cheese of any kind, but those little slices wrapped in plastic are a guilty pleasure! Very nice Charlie!

    • Author

      Thanks Anna! 😃💕 Yeah, as a kid I used to love those slices… it was like unwrapping my own little gift each time! Hehe

  22. memadtwo 1 year ago

    I remember as a child coming home to lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup (Campbells of course). And when we drove the Pennsylvania Turnpike to visit my grandmother, the only place to eat was HoJos, where I always got a grilled cheese, looking forward also to the dill pickle. I too now make mine with good cheddar and sourdough bread. A delicious day! (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe! 😃💕 What a delicious story! That sounds like it was a fun place to eat and a great little family tradition. I love how good food always makes good memories!

  23. Rebecca 1 year ago

    Delicious, and your toast is perfectly done! 🙂

  24. The Leaf Diary 1 year ago

    Bah…now I’m hungry and fancy having this !

  25. The Leaf Diary 1 year ago

    yummy illustration Charlie!

  26. Jill Holmes 1 year ago

    It’s 9:30 pm here and I want some of this! I looks great for a late night snack! — Oh, and Happy Birthday to you, Charlie! 🙂

    • Author

      Uhmm…it’s the best snack EVER!! Any time of day!! Hehe…I had another for lunch…I need to stop celebrating the food days. 😊 Thanks so much, Jill!! 😃💕

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