Recipe: Italian Herb Uncured Ham Grilled Cheese
There is almost nothing I want more on a cold or rainy day than grilled cheese. It just makes you feel good, you know? Putting some Farmers and Cooks Italian Herb Uncured Ham in there makes it all the tastier.
Our Italian Herb Ham changes up rosemary ham to give more of an Italian porchetta flavor. We focus a lot on providing recipe other than sandwiches because we know that many people will use our roasts for this traditional deli purpose. In fact, Americans eat, on average, 200 sandwiches a year. But since we are featuring a grilled cheese sandwich, we want to talk about the history of the sandwich!
November 24, 1762, Edward Gibbon was the first person to write down the word ‘sandwich’ to mean meat between two slices of bread. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, may have spoken with Gibbon of his ‘sandwich’ food invention, and a French writer wrote in the late 1700s about seeing a minister of state in London eat a piece of beef between two slices of toasted bread to sustain himself for hours at a public gaming-table. The food phenomena took hold while the French writer remained in London, and could soon be found in many places. In 1773 a sandwich appeared as a recipe for the first time in Charlotte Manson’s cookbook.
While this is the history of the word ‘sandwich’, the concept of a sandwich has been around for much longer. Farm laborers in France ate meat between sliced bread which had no particular name, and before that, the Korech or “Hillel sandwich” was eaten during the Jewish Passover. This is bitter herbs inside of unleavened matzo bread, but even this might have been a popular food serving method in the Middle East.
Coming back to modern day, sandwiches came into American cookbooks in 1816, but the filling was more than just meat. Cheese, fruit, shellfish, nuts, and mushrooms appeared to jazz up what had once been extremely simple. After the Civil War, sandwiches really took off and could be found just about anywhere. By the 19th century, all the different forms of sandwiches had special names like the ‘club sandwich’ or, one of our favorite, the ‘Reuben’. The grilled cheese came about as Kraft invented a blended, pasteurized cheese which could be transported without spoiling in 1916. They were originally called ‘Toasted Cheese Sandwiches’. It wasn’t until the late 1920s when Papendick invested ‘pre-sliced and packaged bread’ that the convenience of making sandwiches at home by mothers and children without using a knife really solidified the sandwich as an American diet staple. We are grateful to be a part of a long time global tradition with our roasts.
Italian Herb Uncured Ham Grilled Cheese
-makes 4 servings
1 lb. Farmers & Cooks Sliced Italian Herb Ham
8 slices Apple Cinnamon or traditional Brioche
1 lb (about 1 wedge) Brie Cheese
1 Lime (optional)
8 tablespoons butter
Cut Brie into ¼” slices.
Slice pears as thin as you can.
- Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter in a non-stick frying pan.
- Take two slices of bread and place them in butter.
- Place 4 tbs. of Brie and 2 slices of ham on each side.
- Finish by putting on 4 slices of pears.
- Squeeze a line of lime juice over each side.
- Cook until cheese begins to melt and fold one half onto the other.