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Grilled Cheese Day: April 12th

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Cheese has been an intricate part of our lives since ancient times. Well known for its great taste, it’s there in all that we love more – pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and what not. Well knowing all these, the history of this wonder ingredient says, that no one knows who made cheese first.

According to legendary stories it is said that cheese was first made or rather should say automatically was formed accidentally when an Arab travelercarried his supply of milk in a pouch made of sheep’s stomach, as he set out on his journey across the dessert. Combined with the heat of the sun and the rennet in the lining of the pouch made the milk to separate into whey and curd. When he consumed it, he found that the whey satisfied his thirst and the cheese (curd) satisfied his hunger.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, 12th April

Observed on the 12th of April, every year is practically an indulgence with the delicious, grilled or toasted delight all across the globe. The culinary concept of melting cheese over a bread has been around since the time of the ancient Romans, till the 1920’s when we discovered grilled cheese sandwiches as we know them till now. Probably the best way to indulge and celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is to make and eat a grilled cheese sandwich, with the cheese melting on top.

The short history of Cheese

It is believed that travelers from Asia have brought the art of cheese making to Europe with cheese been made in many parts of Rome. With the decline of the Roman Empire, cheese was made and improvised by the monks of the monasteries in Europe. Cheese making continued in Europe until the pilgrims with their voyage brought cheese to America and it spread quickly in the New World. In 1851, the first cheese factory in the United States was built in Oneida County, New York.

With growing population the demand of cheese also grew and the whole sale cheese factory was thus born and grew faster phenomenally.  As cheese demand continued to grow and spread rapidly, manufactured and processed cheese production increased dramatically. Currently one third of the milk production in the U.S. is attributed to the making of cheese.

The many health benefits of Cheese

Known for its great taste, this dairy product has numerous health benefits also and some of which are as noted here:

  • It is highly nutritious: it is loaded with calcium, zinc, phosphorous, proteins, vitamin A and B12 and riboflavin.
  • It aids in cavity protection: the high calcium makes it prevent cavity and tooth decay. It makes bones and teeth stronger and is also low in lactose that’s harmful for teethes.
  • Prevention of cancer: substances like Sphingolipids and Conjugated Linoleic Acid in cheese is known to prevent against cancer development. The vitamin B12 in cheese helps in maintaining good body conditions in order to prevent diseases.
  • Aids bone health: high in vitamin B, it is very good for the growth of bones. It is recommended in diets of children, pregnant and lactating women and elderly peoples as it strengthens bones and cartilages.

Exceptions:

  • High Blood Pressure: people suffering from high blood pressure should avoid eating high fat cheese as it contains sodium and cholesterols. It is advisable to choose low-fat cheese as it contains vitamin B, which is good for blood pressure.
  • Weight Gain: it is also advisable to avoid eating too much cheese as it promotes weight gain. It is always recommended to eat low-fat cheese to avoid gaining extra weight. 

Healthy Cheese and Cheese Sandwiches that will make your mouth water

This Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day of the 12th of April, you really need not to find an excuse with these few delicious, gooey, cheesy and healthy reasons to eat on these classics.  While cheese is a rich source of bone-building calcium and muscle-recovering protein; you just need to choose wisely and cheese can be a part of any healthy diet—or even a weight-loss plan.

  1. Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Juicy tomato and creamy avocado adds punch and richness to this grilled cheese sandwich and ups the nutritional values and many heart healthy benefits.
  2. The Goddess of Greens Toasted Sandwich: there is many more to the world of greens than only having them as salads. This yummy pesto sandwich is so yummy that you will certainly fall in love with it. Along with many favorite green foods like spinach and avocado, these ingredients make one healthy cheesy sandwich.
  3. The Goat Cheese Sandwich with Beet and Arugula: beets are great in salads and sandwiches alike. This colourful and nutritious sandwich flavored with arugula and peppered goat cheese is a perfect classic.
  4. Spinach and Feta Grilled Cheese Sandwich: the leafy green spinach is packed with extra dose of iron and without forgetting feta is low in fat and calories. A perfect light and nutritious delight.

There are numerous ways by which we can add cheese in our diets. Here are some ideas:

  • In salads: Greek and Mediterranean salads have feta and parmesan. Fruit salads too, can have thin slices of cheese along with apples, pineapples and tomatoes for good flavor.
  • In pastas: have some whole grain pasta with feta and parmesan and see relish the culinary delight.
  • Paranthas: stuff it with cheese or throw some on top, roll it and eat it.

By: Sheela Seharawat

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