Cheese Zombies: the Yakima Valley’s beloved school lunch that takes grilled cheese to the next level.2 min read
In the late 1950s, a school district in Washington’s Yakima Valley received an excess of subsidized cheese.
Faced with this unexpected abundance, not wanting it to go to waste, the food services supervisor (or, according to other stories, a local cafeteria cook) invented a new sandwich that soon appeared on menus: the so-called Cheese Zombie, essentially a grilled cheese cake that’s baked with fresh dough.
Needless to say, it was an instant hit.
“Zombie”-makers begin by placing cheese slices between rolled-out sheets of dough.
Before placing the huge sandwich into the oven, they pinch the dough together to seal it, then they top with a brush of melted butter to create a soft, brown crust.
When they’re finished, the individual sandwiches are cut much like a sheet of cake.
However, unlike the typical toast used in grilled cheese, the bread in a Zombie is like a soft pizza crust.
Cheese Zombies remained on local school lunch menus for decades to come, with students soon realizing they were best dipped in tomato soup.
Yakima Valley school districts still make the meal, and many small shops in the area also serve the sandwich.
It’s especially popular at Halloween, perhaps due to its name, despite no brain are used to make the dish!
Images from web – Google Research