Americans have spoken, and it's no surprise they have strong opinions when it comes to comfort food preferences.
According to a national survey conducted by Sara Lee®, makers of delicious bread, buns, rolls and breakfast products — including Artesano™ Bread — pizza reigns supreme as the No. 1 comfort food in the country, with more than half of Americans identifying it as their go-to comfort food — while burgers hold the number two spot. The survey also revealed that grilled cheese ranks as one of the top 10 dishes and Americans are evenly split in how they define comfort food: 50 percent are on team sweet — with most craving chocolate — and the other half think comfort food should be a savory dish.
In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month and Day (April 12), Sara Lee® Artesano™ Bread partnered with the ultimate comfort food expert and co-host of Food Network's Emmy-nominated show "The Kitchen," Katie Lee, to take Americans' favorite comfort foods and wrap them together into their own cozy grilled cheese sandwich recipes:
- Katie Lee's Parm-tastic Pizza Grilled Cheese: Your Friday night pizza nights just got way more fun! Experiment with this ooey-gooey, plate of deliciousness that combines marinara sauce, two slices of provolone cheese, pepperoni, chopped banana peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella — and did we mention a sprinkle of Parmesan on the outside of the bread?
- Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Burger by Katie Lee: This food pairing takes two of America's favorite sandwiches and combines them into one juicy and delicious dish. Ground beef, sweet onion, the perfect mix of swiss cheese and grated gruyere cheese, and a dash of garlic and onion powder — you'll want this for every meal!
- Chocolate Hazelnut Strawberry Grilled Cheese by Katie Lee: Who said grilled cheese couldn't be sweet? Layered with chocolate hazelnut spread, sliced strawberries and cream cheese, this delicious recipe is sure to satisfy sweet cravings, and is great for a playful lunch or dinner, and of course, dessert.
Sara Lee's survey, conducted online with more than 2,000 U.S. consumers age 18+, also unveiled these additional findings about Americans' all-time comfort food favorites:
- Top 10 Comfort Foods
Americans' favorite comfort foods are (in order of preference): pizza, burgers, fried chicken, french fries, pasta, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, chili and tomato soup.
- The Comfort of Grilled Cheese
Americans agree: grilled cheese is a go-to when it comes to comfort food, the sandwich ranks among American's top 10 favorites in the category. In fact, four in five Americans consider the nostalgic sandwich a comfort food, and two-thirds agree comfort food should be gooey and creamy. Is your mouth watering yet?
- Stress Eating is Real
There are many reasons Americans feel stressed, from the Monday through Friday hustle and bustle and never-ending deadlines, to running late to drop the kids off at soccer practice. Two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) agree that when they are stressed, comfort food is the answer to keep them calm, while three-quarters (75 percent) say that comfort food is the quickest way to cure whatever ails them.
- Mars vs. Venus
When it comes to comfort food, men are more likely to choose pizza, burgers, fried chicken and chili while women want french fries, mac and cheese, grilled cheese and mashed potatoes.
To celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month, view recipes and more at SaraLeeBread.com.