I tried making a grilled cheese for $6 and $42 to see if expensive ingredients make a difference.
The fancy sandwich was extravagant, but it required a lot of effort for lackluster results.
Nothing beats a classic, nostalgic grilled cheese with American slices and white bread.
Grilled cheese is my quintessential nostalgic comfort food, especially when it's made with white bread and American cheese.
But I wanted to see how the classic sandwich would compare to an overtly extravagant version.
Read on to see how a $6 grilled cheese stood up against a $42 one.
I started by carefully selecting my ingredients
I went to Whole Foods and bought a block of goat's butter for $9.99 and a big loaf of country bread for $11.
I searched around the artisanal-cheese section to find Parmigiano-Reggiano for $20.99/pound, a cloth-bound cheddar for $28.99/pound, and an aged, alpine-style cheese on sale for $31.99/pound.
My grand total for these ingredients was $42.35.
Next, I went to an Amazon Fresh store and grabbed a $1.48 loaf of store-brand white bread, a $1.99 package of yellow American-cheese slices, and a $2.49 tub of margarine, bringing that total to $5.96.
I assembled both sandwiches simultaneously to ensure a fair comparison
The classic grilled cheese was easier to assemble. The margarine just glided without ripping the fragile, soft bread.
From there, I just unwrapped two slices of American cheese.
After buttering the white bread, I pulled out the goat's butter. It sliced easily, but it wasn't soft enough to spread.
The country loaf also wasn't presliced, so I had to whip out my trusty bread knife to saw off a couple of pieces.
I softened the goat butter for a few seconds in the microwave before spreading it on the fresh slices. For extra extravagance, I created a Parmesan crust by grating the cheese on top of the buttered slices.
Since the bread was thick, I knew I had a better chance of even meltage if I shredded the two interior cheeses rather than slicing them.
The classic sandwich cooked up faster than the fancy version
I placed the buttered side of one slice of white bread and one slice of country loaf onto a preheated griddle pan.
The American cheese sat obediently on the white bread while I tried to carefully pile the shredded cheeses on the narrow slice of the country loaf.
Then I topped each sandwich with its other half and covered everything with a cloche to trap the heat.
Unsurprisingly, the white bread was golden in no time and the American cheese melted quickly.
The pricier grilled cheese took about twice as long to cook because the bread was so thick. But when it was ready to flip, the beautiful, golden crust made me gasp.
All grilled-cheese sandwiches are worthy, but I surprisingly preferred the cheap version
I split half of each sandwich with my partner, who was more than happy to help me taste test.
I quickly saw how he felt as he devoured the classic sandwich and took just one bite of the $42 grilled cheese.
The cheaper one tasted exactly as I expected.
The entire sandwich was soft, with the slightest crispiness from the golden bread.
And you just can't beat the melt factor of American cheese.
I loved the expensive grilled cheese in different ways, but I preferred the $6 version.
The expensive sandwich was so large and crusty that it was challenging to bite into. The Parmesan crust was audibly crispy and delicious, but it overpowered the flavors of the interior cheeses.
The inside melted OK, but it paled in comparison to the gooey American cheese.
I would absolutely make both again, but the cheaper grilled cheese is a classic for a reason.
Read the original article on Insider