Disney World has released a doughnut grilled cheese sandwich unto the world and, for some reason, not everyone is delighted. Even though this is tame as far as stunt foods go, some accounts (and some people) are play-acting at being shocked over a fairly mundane sandwich.
You don’t know “how to feel,” Inside the Magic? I’ll tell you how to feel: a little hungry and not at all scandalized.
Though the copy attached to the video is trite, and the footage features long, painted nails, the sandwich itself looks pretty good. It is 2021, my friends, and nothing about a doughnut grilled cheese should strike you as extreme. I personally have been using griddled doughnuts as sandwich bread for at least seven years—the first was a sausage doughnut sandwich made on Christmas morning—and it is far from the most decadent thing I do.
Though the word “doughnut” probably conjures up visions of violently pink, frosted, sprinkled pastries, no one is suggesting you eat a grilled cheese (or any sandwich) on one of those. We are suggesting you use a plain glazed (or at least I am). A plain, glazed, yeasted doughnut is not that different from any cushy, kinda sweet white bread, which is what a grilled cheese should be made on. Remove the glaze, and it’s not any sweeter than a good challah. It’s fried, yes, but fried things are good, especially when combined with cheese.
Now, about the glaze. It is not uncommon for savory things, such as meat, to be coated in something sticky sweet. It’s called contrast, baby, and it’s what keeps my mouth interested. Give that sugar a blast of heat, and it turns into all crackly and brûlée-like. This kind of caramelized, crisped up exterior is good on pork belly, and it’s good on a cheese sandwich.
Griddling the sandwich to get that crunchy exterior is key. It provides texture and it creates deeper, richer flavors, tempering some of that sweetness that everyone seems to be so concerned about. But before you start grilling, take a moment to toast the interior of the doughnut. I do this by splitting the doughnut and placing it in a nonstick pan (without any oil) over medium-high heat until it picks up some color (you want it golden brown), then I flip over one of the doughnut halves so the glaze is touching the pan, place the cheese on that half, and place the other half on top of the cheese. Cover the pan and let it cook on one side for a minute or so, until you have crackly sugar crust, then flip it over and repeat on the other. The choice of cheese is up to you, but I always use American.
Once you’ve eaten that, make a list of other sandwiches you’d like to build on a doughnut, and then make them a reality. I’m partial to doughnut breakfast sandwiches, particularly those made with salty sausage. They were my first, after all.