Anyone who’s seen the Netflix documentary on the Fyre Festival (or the one on Hulu—yes, there are two!) knows one of the most compelling characters to emerge out of the chaotic mess was a certain poorly constructed “cheese sandwich.” Neither cheese nor sandwich, this anti-hero was really more of a pathetic slice of cheese product tossed haphazardly onto a couple pieces of sad white bread strewn about in a polystyrene foam container next to undressed salad.
Eventually we learn the unintended mascot of the Fyre Festival was first tweeted by Fyre Festival attendee Trevor DeHaas and came to symbolize everything that went wrong with the disastrous music fest, where concertgoers paid hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars to party with bikini-clad models, sleep in luxury beach-side tents, eat gourmet food, and see a rather eclectic lineup that included Major Lazer, Migos, and…Blink 182.
It’s been disputed whether or not the now-infamous cheese sandwich was actually served to Fyre attendees; some outlets reported it was intended to feed festival staff only. Still, the photo elicited horror (and excessively gleeful schadenfreude) from Twitter bystanders for its exact opposite likeness to the high-end culinary experience that was promised on Fyre Festival’s social channels, which included local seafood, Bahamian-style sushi, and even a pig roast.
Both competing docs explore how the over-the-top vision of entrepreneur Billy McFarland came crumbling down once guests began to arrive on the island of Exuma and realized organizers were grossly unprepared and, well, broke. One restaurant owner, MaryAnn Rolle, who, according to The New York Times, catered 1,000 meals every day from her Exuma Point Beach joint in April 2017, used $50,000 of her own savings to pay workers who were stiffed by the Fyre organizers. (At least Rolle’s story has a happier ending than McFarland’s. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $179,000 for her losses.)
The failure of Fyre certainly wasn’t a good look for millennials, but it also tarnished the reputation of the cheese sandwich—something we here at Chowhound hold dear and regard as the kind of go-to, satiating meal that has yet to fail us, especially when it comes to feeding your own angry mob/friends/family while hosting Super Bowl Sunday or a last-minute dinner party.
After all, the cheese sandwich offers warm, buttery joy, is the lifeblood of vegetarians, and when served with the right accoutrements, can read like a Michelin-starred restaurant doing comfort food. (Maybe even consider making your own sourdough). Of course, with the overwhelming popularity of both Fyre Festival docs, it’s imperative you don’t approach a cheese sandwich ill-prepared, especially when you’re feeding those who can’t resist an ironic Insta food post or think they’re “really good at making memes.” Which is exactly why we’ve rounded up several no-fail cheese sandwich recipes that will be sure to produce the kind of #goodfoodpics that will only be posted alongside a praise hands emoji.
Proof that the right condiment makes all the difference. Get our Sweet Hot Mustard Grilled Cheese recipe.
A. Bauer's Horseradish Mustard, $4.50 at Mouth
If you like more hot than sweet, this really adds a kick to any sandwich.
Rhubarb Raspberry Fruit Spread, 2 for $7.98 at World Market
Upgrade from Smuckers to something a little more sophisticated.
Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, $14.95 on Amazon
This will set you on the path to way-better-than-store-bought loaves.
Not for amateurs but with the added grappa, will surely leave an impression on your guests. Get our Grape and Taleggio Grilled Cheese recipe.
Plymouth Black Truffle Cheddar Cheese, $14 at Mouth
Don't be afraid of fancy cheeses, like this Vermont-made raw cow's milk cheddar infused with Italian truffles.
Vegetarians, rejoice. Cilantro Sesame not only looks good on Insta (that color!) but tastes delicious too. Get the Toasted Paneer Sandwich with Creamy Cilantro Sesame Sauce recipe.
TBJ Gourmet Sweet Chili Bacon Jam, $13.99 at Amazon
Here's another easy way to add international flair (and bacon) to your grilled cheese.
Need something to watch while you nosh? The choice is pretty obvious…but if you have both Hulu and Netflix, better find out from TV Guide which Fyre Festival doc is better. CNET reviewed them too!
Related Video: Restaurant Owner Scammed by Fyre Fest Is Getting Her Money Back Thanks to a GoFundMe Campaign
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