Strategically Placed Fruit Slices Make Grilled Cheese Scientifically Better

Nothing hits the spot quite like a delicious, gooey grilled cheese. They're affordable, easy to make, and endlessly customizable with different types of cheeses and other additions. But there's one topping that's sure to step up your next sandwich — slices of fruit. Don't take our word for it. It has been scientifically proven.

Chef Lizzy Briskin revealed to Insider that her trick to the perfect grilled cheese is to stack your sandwich with the fruit slices between your bread and cheese. The positioning puts them slightly closer to the heat, which helps them to break down and release natural pectins and sugars as the cheese melts. This noticeable but not overpowering sweetness creates what Briskin calls "the perfect complement to umami-rich cheese" and the sandwich's exterior toastiness and caramelization. 

According to Eater, the mix activates special taste buds that process combinations of savory and sweet, a recognition of our primal, inherent cravings for these two fundamental food elements. With sugar as an easy source of energy and salt necessary for survival, your caveman ancestors would have appreciated this improved grilled cheese as much as you do.

Fruit slices and other toppings are key

So which fruits are best for your next grilled cheese? Most (including Chef Lizzy Briskin) opt for traditional choices like apples or pears, which offer an ideal combination of sweetness and a satisfying crunch. But fruit and cheese lovers should experiment with varying options, like peaches, grapes,  blackberries, figs, and more to figure out what satisfies their cravings. The only limit is your imagination. 

But fruit isn't the only way to turn your grilled cheese into the sandwich of your dreams. A Mashed survey found more than a third of respondents love a slice of tomato (also technically, a fruit, not a vegetable) on their sandwich, while nearly 20% chose caramelized onions, just ahead of avocado in third place. Switching up your cheese choice is also a good strategy. Those looking to swap out the traditional American or Velveeta can change things up with funky bleu cheeses, nutty Gruyere, or creamy low-moisture mozzarella. But don't stop here — feel free to experiment with whichever cheeses you're craving. It's all part of the fun of this humble lunchtime favorite.