I love grilled cheese—and I have plenty of company. In fact, my refrigerator sports this cool Make Grilled Cheese, Not War magnet (right).

Americans eat more than 2 billion grilled cheese sandwiches each year, according to the NPD Group, a Port Washington, NY-based consumer research firm.

With many families facing tighter budgets, grilled cheese sandwiches satisfy both children and adults. One sandwich, made with two slices of bread, two slices of cheese and a touch of butter, costs around $1 and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, here’s some culinary trivia:

  • In 1920, the grilled cheese sandwich began gaining popularity.
  • In the 1940s and 50s, grilled cheese was served open-faced and became popular in cafeterias. By the 1960s, the top piece of bread was added to the sandwich.
  • In 1965, Kraft Singles first appeared in grocery stores. Today, the company sells an organic variety.
  • Nearly 90% of people who buy sliced cheese agree that American cheese makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches, according to a Kraft survey.
  • In 2004, the online casino GoldenPalace.com paid $28,000 for a half-eaten grilled cheese sandwich featuring an image of the Virgin Mary.
  • In 2006, Joey Chestnut won the World Green Chile Grilled Cheese Eating Championship by wolfing down 34.5 grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • On April 25, 5,000 people are expected to “get cheesy” at the 7th Annual National Grilled Cheese Invitational, the world’s only grilled cheese cooking competition, held in Los Angeles.

Tune in tomorrow for our weekend recipe, Rustic Grilled Cheese.

Top photo courtesy of Kraft Foods