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How Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Became an Iconic Duo

The combination of a warm bowl of tomato soup with a toasty, ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich is one of the nation's most iconic meals.

But how did the tomato soup and grilled cheese become such a famous combination?

In the 1920s, grilled cheese sandwiches became incredibly popular. This was partially because James L. Kraft created processed cheese and the invention of the bread slicer by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. Meanwhile, tomato soup had been around since the mid-1800s, featured in a variety of cookbooks.

To bring these two together would literally take a world war. Grilled cheese sandwiches were popular among sailors and military members during World War II. Shortly after, government institutions, as well as schools, started packaging grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup to give the meal additional nutrition. The vitamin C in tomatoes compliment the energy-inducing sugars and carbs in the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Since then, several different recipes and variants of the duo have been created.


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