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Is a Panini a glorified Grilled Cheese?

My husband constantly gives me crap about my love for paninis, he calls them glorified grilled cheeses and therefor are not real sandwiches.

Do you think they are glorified Grilled Cheeses/Cheese Toasties???

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  1. Given that a panino can have all kinds of toppings (not necessarily cheese, tho it certainly makes it better), I'd say no. And I like panini, grilled cheese sandwiches, and toasties.

    7 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Say, if a restautrant offers a half panini with a cup of soup or salad, do you get a panino?

      1. re: junescook

        You get half a panino with a cup of soup or salad. Or maybe I didn't understand your question.

        1. re: junescook

          one is a panino
          more than one is panini

          1. re: sunshine842

            I know that. But on a lot of menus you see them advertised as above. That's why I'm asking, capisce?

            1. re: junescook

              But what more do you want for an answer? The fact that they are advertising half a panini with a cup of soup simply indicates their unfamiliarity with the Italian language. Doesn't say anything one way or the other about whether they know how to make a good panino, just that they don't know what it's called.

                1. re: BobB

                  in english panini has come to mean the singular. words change when they migrate from one language to another.

                  but to the OP - i don't understand the assertion that a grilled cheese is not a real sandwich, nor why they should be disparaged in the 1st place?

                  cheese panini are grilled cheese sandwiches of a type. so what?

        2. Well I suppose it is. It's a sandwich that's got cheese in it and grilled.

          I guess it bothers you so this is what you do. First of all, you tell your hubby to look up the definition of "Sandwich."

          Secondly, simply agree with him. Honestly, who cares if it is or isn't?? If you like it, eat it.


          1. and since panino/panini refers to the bread itself....nope.

            Ham, turkey, and cheddar panini are the favorite at the Cafe Mom around these parts...

            3 Replies
            1. re: sunshine842

              no, it's a pressed sandwich, not the bread.

              1. re: fara

                not according to the bread items I've seen in Italy.

                1. re: fara

                  Not necessarily pressed, just a sandwich.

              2. It depends on the proportion of cheese to the other fillings - if the cheese is the star, then a panino could be considered a kin to a grilled cheese sandwich.

                1. And FYI, a good grilled cheese doesn't need gloriifcation. It stands on its own glorious merits. Your husband needs to develop a little more sophistication in his appreciation of food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Yes, if the panini contains cheese, or vice versa, a grilled cheese sandwich is a panini.

                    1. A panino as eaten in Italy is not grilled. Rather, it is pressed just until warmed. Also, they do not always have cheese on them. So in Italy, a panino is not at all like a glorified grilled cheese.

                      Here in the US, I'd have to agree with your husband that most panini do resemble glorified grilled cheese sandwiches.

                      1. Glorified, no. Grilled cheese, maybe.

                        If cheese is the only filling, then sure. Throw in some prosciutto and rucola? Probably not. And if your panino just has, say, porchetta inside - with no cheese at all - then how can it possibly be a grilled cheese sandwich?

                        A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

                        1. LOL see I argue many of your points to him, like what about a chicken and pesto with provolone or moz. Still no go for him, I think he just likes getting my goose so to speak. I am a cheese lover and it is rare that I have a panini with out cheese of some kind. Also I think my hatred of sliced lunch meat from the "oscar meyer" type section in the grocery store that he just doesn't understand eggs him on even more because I don't like "real" sandwiches like bologna with mustard, mayo, and a slice of cheese. Bleck.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: BelovedofIsis

                            sounds like he's indulging his inner jerk.

                            I'd just ignore him. (and I'm with you on the lunch meat. Haven't eaten bologna or hot dogs by choice -- only if I was starving and it was truly the only option-- since we were taken on a tour of the Eckrich plant in 3rd grade. Bleck indeed.)

                            1. re: BelovedofIsis

                              If you learn to ignore him you'd be amazed at how fast it'll stop.


                              1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                German bologna is good as is mortadella -- if you're interested in a meeting him part way on sandwich selection.

                              2. If it was only cheese, it would be a grilled cheese. With meat, veggies, pesto, etc. added, it's a sandwich that is pressed and heated.

                                You have to pick your fights on this one. Being a husband, hit him with the old fashioned iron pressed grilled cheese while you enjoy a nice panini with your favorite fillings. That will show him.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: awm922

                                  Actually, in the US, a grilled cheese sandwich often comes with another ingredient - bacon, ham, tomato, et cet. The issue is whether the cheese is still the star, or merely a supporting condiment.

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    If it has a meat in it, it's then a grilled, cheese and _______. A grilled cheese is just cheese.


                                2. I love Panini . . . . and I love Grilled cheese . . . . .call them whatever you want.

                                  And for good measure, throw in a grilled peanut butter for me too :D

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: thimes

                                    Put some jam on that pnb and it melts into a wonderful grill goo sandwich.

                                  2. The grilled cheeses I've had are not usually pressed. All the panini I've had are, and that pressing of the bread makes an appreciable difference in the outcome and experience. For me, it's apples and oranges.

                                    1. Not if it's made in a real panini machine. However, I've made paninis in a Geo. Forman grill. Basically the same thing.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: CocoDan

                                        Interesting. What's the difference in result?

                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                          Almost none. With some sandwiches you have to manually press down on the Forman grill. The result is pretty much the same. And good too.

                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                            In a panini press the top is hinged so it presses straight down. In a Geo. Forman it will press at an angle. Is there much difference in the final product? No.

                                          2. re: CocoDan

                                            Oooh, thanks for that hint! I have a George Forman in the closet, but keep thinking about a panino press. Duh, I've got one! Another multiple use kitchen gadget!

                                          3. I'm trying to understand why grilled cheeses aren't "real" sandwiches.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: chowser

                                              I have been trying to understand that one for years too and I can't seem to get a definitive answer out of him.

                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                  Then what about a pb and j? Would that be a real sandwich--in my mind, that's the classic sandwich.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    Good point, I will try that one on him and see what he says.

                                                    1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                      Isis, does this sort of overly controlling behaviour appear often?

                                                      Just sayin'.

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        Eh its not overly controlling behavior he just likes to tease me, I do have what could be described as an unhealthy obsession with cheese. I still eat all the cheese I want till my heart's content. I know its probably not the healthiest thing but its my Achilles heal in my diet, especially when its fried! My absolute fav is pan fried Camembert served with current or cranberry jelly.

                                                    2. re: chowser

                                                      So I cornered him about the pb n j. It is a sandwich and then when I asked why that was a sandwich and not a grilled cheese, he conceded that it is indeed a sandwich but a crappy sandwich. LOL he is so stubborn, but then so am I. So now I will continue to enjoy my cheesey sandwiches.

                                              1. It can be, but it can be much, much more, depending on the panini.