1. Some key things to keep in mind when picking cheese for a sandwich are flavor, “meltability”, and freshness. Be sure the flavor of the cheese compliments the flavors in the sandwich. Also consider the texture of the cheese, and whether it is best used cold or melted. Always check that the cheese has been properly stored and that it is not moldy. 00:20
2. “Meltability” refers to how easily the cheese melts and how well it holds together after heat is applied. Chef Tommy recommends using Swiss, mozzarella, or American for heated sandwiches. These cheeses melt easily and have a silky mouth feel. 00:58
3. For making grilled cheese sandwiches, Chef Tommy prefers Tillamook medium cheddar cheese for its meltability and flavor. 01:51
4. Sharper cheeses, such as provolone picante and sharp cheddar, work well with heartier sandwiches. They are not preferred for melting, as they often break, but they have a strong flavor that can stand up to more intense, savory ingredients. 02:39
What You'll Need
- Aged Swiss cheese
- Grande mozzarella
- White American cheese
- Medium aged cheddar
- Sharp white cheddar
- Provolone picante
Consider the element of contrast when selecting cheese for a sandwich. Delicate cheeses paired with thinly sliced meats tend to get lost, and hearty cheese paired with hearty meat tends to be overwhelming. Either the meat or the cheese should contribute an element of brightness to create a more complex flavor profile. Experiment with different flavor and texture combinations to find the right one for your tastes.
The cheeses reviewed in this tutorial are just a few of many available. To learn about other kinds of cheeses and what flavors they pair well with, visit Chef David Slater’s “How to Compose a Cheese Board” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.
While many cheeses are best purchased from a professional producer, some fresh varieties can easily be made at home. To learn more, visit Chef Roberto Capouruscio’s “How to Make Fresh Mozzarella” tutorial and Chef Josh Lasky’s “How to Make Ricotta” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.
To learn how to make grilled cheese, visit Dave Danhi’s “The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.