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Simple and delicious grilled cheese from Harold Strunk

As the ‘Big Cheese’ at Tillamook, President and CEO Harold Strunk knows a thing or two about what goes into making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The foundations of a delicious grilled cheese, according to Harold: melts perfectly with gooey cheese spilling out the sides, an evenly crispy crust, and begins and ends with great tasting, naturally aged cheese like Tillamook.

Recipe Details

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes
  • Yield (number of servings): 4 sandwiches

Recipe Overview

Unfortunately, I have had my share of grilled cheese sandwiches made with processed cheese. I grew up on the east coast where processed cheese is very popular and even spent some time working with a company that made processed cheese. Until I started working with Tillamook I didn’t truly appreciate the difference between a naturally made and aged cheese vs. a processed cheese, and how it affects the taste, texture and quality of a grilled cheese sandwich. When it’s cold, wet and rainy in Tillamook, Oregon – the home and headquarters of Tillamook – this is the grilled cheese I make for me and my family.

Ingredients List


Lightly butter one side of each piece of bread and place butter side down on medium heated pan or flat grill. For each sandwich place 2 slices of Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar on one side of bread and 1 slice of Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar and 1 slice of Pepper Jack on the other slice of bread.

Let the cheese melt on the bread while checking the underside so as not to burn. Lower heat if necessary, or if the bread starts to brown faster than the cheese melts, place the lid of a cooking pot over the bread to make the cheese melt faster. Place the two slices of bread together when they have reached desired melted consistency. Remove from heat, let sit on a cutting board for a few minutes and enjoy.

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