toasted bread with tartar sauce

At a glance: 

  • Selecting the right cheese is essential for creating gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches that offer a perfect blend of flavours, textures, and indulgence.
  • Consider factors such as appearance, aroma, texture, and taste when selecting high-quality cheese.
  • Supporting local cheese producers benefits regional economies and traditional practices and reduces carbon footprint.


Grilled cheese sandwiches have long been a beloved comfort food, offering a delightful combination of crispy bread and gooey melted cheese. Hence, when it comes to crafting gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, selecting the right cheese options is essential. The perfect blend of cheeses can elevate the flavours, textures, and overall indulgence of this classic comfort food. 

We will delve into the main types of cheese commonly used in grilled cheese sandwiches and explore their unique taste, texture, and melting properties. Whether you prefer the smooth creaminess of American cheese or the sharp tang of Cheddar, understanding the characteristics of each cheese will help you craft the ultimate grilled cheese experience.

Types of Cheese

American Cheese 

American cheese, with its smooth and creamy texture, is a popular choice for grilled cheese sandwiches. Its melting properties make it an ideal option for achieving that iconic ooey-gooey texture. 

Hi-Melt American Cheese: This type of American cheese is specially formulated to maintain its shape and consistency even at high temperatures. Its excellent melting properties make it a fantastic choice for grilled cheese sandwiches, as it delivers that perfect stretch and gooeyness.

THINS American Cheese: As the name suggests, THINS American cheese is thinner than regular slices. This variety melts quickly and evenly, allowing for a consistent melting venture in every bite.

Cheddar Slice:

Cheddar is a classic cheese choice for grilled cheese sandwiches, known for its rich and robust flavour. It offers a slightly crumbly texture that adds a delightful contrast to the sandwich. Cheddar cheese slices come in various ages, ranging from mild to extra sharp, allowing you to tailor the flavour to your preference. When it comes to melting, Cheddar cheese produces a luscious, molten layer that blends beautifully with the other ingredients.

Popular Cheese Combinations:

American and Cheddar Blend: The creaminess of American cheese combined with the depth and tang of Cheddar creates a well-rounded grilled cheese sandwich.

Swiss and Gruyère Fusion: This combination brings together the nutty flavour of Swiss cheese and the rich taste of Gruyère, resulting in a sophisticated and delicious sandwich.

Mozzarella and Parmesan Medley: The mild and stretchy nature of Mozzarella pairs perfectly with the sharp and savoury notes of Parmesan, creating a delectable combination. The Mozzarella adds a stringy texture, while the Parmesan adds a burst of flavour.

Understanding Your Customers

To build a successful cheese selection, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your customers. By recognising their tastes, preferences, and expectations, you can tailor your cheese offerings to meet their demands. This understanding can enhance customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and drive business growth.

One effective way to understand your customers is by conducting thorough research. This can involve various methods, such as surveys, feedback forms, or direct conversations with customers. Through these interactions, you can gather valuable insights into the types of cheese they enjoy, their favourite flavour profiles, and any specific preferences they may have.

It’s essential to be knowledgeable about common dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance, vegan or vegetarian diets, and gluten intolerance. By offering a diverse range of cheese options that cater to these restrictions, you can accommodate a broader customer base and ensure inclusivity.

Pairing Cheese with Bread and Other Ingredients

Each ingredient contributes its own flavours, textures, and moisture content, which should be considered to achieve a balanced and harmonious combination. Here’s how other ingredients can impact cheese selection:

Delicate Ingredients: When incorporating delicate ingredients like mild greens or thinly sliced fruits, it is recommended to choose a cheese with a subtle flavour that won’t overpower the other components.

Bold Ingredients: If your sandwich includes strong-flavoured ingredients like spicy meats or robust sauces, selecting a cheese with a bold taste can help create a well-rounded and flavorful sandwich.

Examples of cheese types that pair well with different pieces of bread:

Here are some examples of cheese types that complement different types of bread:

  • Sourdough Bread and Sharp Cheddar: The tangy sourdough complements the robust flavours of sharp cheddar.
  • Ciabatta Bread and Mozzarella: The crusty ciabatta pairs well with creamy and melty mozzarella, especially with added basil and tomatoes.
  • Rye Bread and Swiss Cheese: The bold rye bread complements the nutty and sweet Swiss cheese. Layer with pastrami or sauerkraut for added depth.
  • Whole Wheat Bread and Gouda: The nutty whole wheat bread pairs perfectly with the creamy and buttery flavours of Gouda. Add caramelised onions or roasted red peppers for extra flavour.
  • Brioche Bread and Brie: Indulge in the rich combination of buttery brioche and velvety Brie. Enhance with fig jam or caramelised apples for a touch of sweetness.

To elevate the flavours and create a memorable sandwich experience, consider these tips for pairing cheese with additional ingredients:

Meats: Rich and savoury meats like roasted turkey or ham pair well with slightly salty or tangy cheeses such as Swiss or Provolone, creating a harmonious balance of flavours.

Vegetables: When using fresh vegetables, lighter and milder cheeses like Mozzarella or Goat Cheese can enhance the natural flavours without overpowering them.

Sauces: Creamy or tangy sauces like mayonnaise or mustard can be balanced with a variety of cheeses. Experiment with options like Pepper Jack or Blue Cheese to add an extra kick to your sandwich.

Cheese Selection Tips:

Selecting high-quality cheese involves considering its appearance, aroma, texture, and taste. Look for cheese with consistent texture, even colouring, and no visible mould or discolouration. It should have a pleasant aroma and a well-balanced taste that reflects its origin and aging process. 

Supporting local dairy suppliers is important as it helps sustain traditional practices, supports regional economies, and reduces carbon footprint. Visit farmers’ markets and specialty stores to discover local cheesemakers and engage with them to learn about their products. 

To maintain cheese quality, store it in recommended conditions, use cheese paper or wax paper for wrapping, and practice portion control to minimise waste. Repurpose cheese scraps in recipes and collaborate with chefs to create unique dishes incorporating leftover cheese, reducing waste, and maximising culinary experiences.


Crafting the perfect grilled cheese sandwich involves understanding different cheese types, considering customer preferences, and pairing cheese with the right bread and ingredients. Choosing high-quality cheese based on appearance, aroma, texture, and taste is essential, while supporting local cheese producers helps sustain traditional practices. 

It is also worth exploring wholesale dairy suppliers who can provide a reliable and consistent source of high-quality cheese for your grilled cheese sandwiches. Strategies like proper storage and portion control maintain cheese quality and reduce waste. Pairing cheese with various pieces of bread, meats, vegetables, and sauces allows for unique flavour combinations. Understanding customer preferences through research enhances satisfaction and loyalty. By following these tips and considerations, you can create delectable grilled cheese sandwiches that will satisfy your taste buds and those of your customers.