The Bite-Sized Ingredients That Take Grilled Cheese To A New Level

Let's face it — few foods have the comforting appeal of grilled cheese. There's something about that pairing of toasted bread and gooey delicious cheese that hits the right notes of texture and taste. And, it's a framework that opens to a whole lot of interpretations. To some, the ultimate grilled cheese recipe comes together with beloved and dependable options like gruyère and cheddar, but there's another — much smaller — filling that can elevate your sandwich.

It's humble cheese curds, which when melted properly, transform into a spectacularly gooey addition. Sure, they require a bit more heat to break down, but once they do, it's glorious. Add a layer between the slices prior to cooking, and you'll get that grilled cheese of your dreams. The curds melt evenly, and a small amount might even ooze out of the side, creating a picture-perfect result. Plus, they'll meld well with other ingredients, too, whether it's a stronger-flavored cheese, some sort of protein, or an onion marmalade.

Add cheese curds for a perfectly gooey grilled cheese

Unless you're from the Midwest or Canada, this delightful cheesy ingredient may fall under the radar. You may ask — past a popular poutine topping, what are cheese curds anyway? Well, they're actually one of the most basic cheese-making components. They form when an enzyme called rennet is introduced to milk, splitting it into whey, and these delicious curds. To make cheese, these milky morsels are subsequently compacted into blocks, and aged.

Their foundational role in cheese-making is precisely what makes them such a star in a toasted sandwich. As a fresh product, they're extra creamy and have a unique rubbery texture, one of the most important things to know about cheese curds. Such quality adds up to a consistency that's so delightful melted.

Plus, their neutral flavor is a terrific canvas, especially alongside other cheeses. They'll hit the texture essential, letting you add other ingredients without worrying about its consistency. Since specifically Wisconsin curds are the building blocks of cheddar, consider throwing in your favorite version of aged cheddar into the mix. And to add a bit of crisp, bacon is a delectable and reliable pairing. To flesh out a truly spectacular sandwich, finish with some onion, cooked down to a soft consistency prior to assembly. It'll add up to a grilled cheese that's sure to turn heads.