541 Flavors: Peak grilled-cheese season

More than two dozen area restaurants are on board for February’s Grilled Cheese Experience, a FOOD for Lane County fundraiser

Grilled cheese. When faced with those words, I hear them in my head in Homer Simpson’s prolonged, drool-soaked drawl: “Mmmm … grilllllled cheeeeese.”

I don’t know if “The Simpsons” patriarch has ever uttered that phrase in any episode of the series. But even if he hasn’t, I’m certain that he would should he ever catch sight of any one of the crispy-outside, gooey-inside sandwiches being served this month around Eugene-Springfield.

Now, I recognize that Springfield is both a real and an imaginary place, but grilled cheese is, however, a very real, nonfiction sandwich form. Yet some of the inspired creations currently being served up during FOOD for Lane County’s Grilled Cheese Experience seem almost to fantastic to be true.

Photo by Kelly Lyon, Register-Guard

To back up briefly, this fifth-annual local exaltation of the greatness of melted dairy products is happening through the month of February. More than two dozen restaurants in Eugene-Springfield and environs are participating, and each has put forth at least one distinctive take on grilled cheese for the Experience. All are giving the food bank $2 from every sandwich sale, with an additional matching $2 for each sandwich provided by an anonymous donor. (Monty Burns, perhaps? Hardly. Matt Groening?)

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By Joel Gorthy, Register-Guard