Letting Go of Grilled Cheese

The Grilled Cheese Invitational took place in Los Angeles this past weekend.

Letting Go of Grilled Cheese

This past weekend saw the 2nd 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational. No, you’re not the only one confused by the event’s name.

Does the 2nd 8th annual mean that it’s actually the 16th annual? Or does it mean that it’s the second time this year the annual event has occurred, despite the fact an annual celebration occurs just once a year?

Welcome to the crazy world of grilled cheese.

The Grilled Cheese Invitational has a simple motto: bread, cheese, butter, victory! Although eating all of these things would prevent your typical athlete from winning just about anything, in the world of competitive grilled-cheese making, it’s a clarion call as powerful as “just do it” and “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

The beauty of the Grilled Cheese Invitational is in its constraints. Here are the categories from their site:

Love, American Style: White bread, butter, orange cheese (American or Cheddar). NOTHING ELSE.

The Missionary Position: Any type of bread, butter and cheese. NO ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS.

The Kama Sutra: A sandwich of the savory nature, with any type of bread, butter and cheese PLUS additional ingredients, and the interior ingredients must be at least 60% cheese.

The Honey Pot: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, and any kind of cheese, and the interior ingredients of the sammich must be at least 60% cheese, PLUS additional ingredients, and with an overall flavor that is sweet and would best be served as dessert.

Look at the ferocity of those caps-locked imperatives. It’s like the rules were typed by an angry girlfriend. And the folks who participate take those rules very seriously, concocting “crispy duck skin, Funyuns and encapsulated French onion soup,” reports The Daily.

I swore off grilled cheese several years ago. It’s one of the least efficient ways of getting nutrition into your body. However, it is one of the most delicious. I may argue grilled cheese is far better than pizza and its other cheesy brethren, the burrito. It’s just cheese and grease and bread. So simple, yet so effective.

After a long night of non-nutritious drinking a few weeks back, I scarfed down a croque madame. Holy shit. I still don’t know what it is but the cheese was warm, stringy and delicious. The bread was actually slippery. In a kind of fuck you to your arteries, they served the calorie-dense masterpiece with a side salad. I should have gotten fries. Wait—is there an Invitational for fries?