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National Grilled Cheese Month Starts Today!

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The folks over at Clementine take their grilled cheese sandwiches very seriously -- so seriously, in fact, that they are celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month (yes, it's a real holiday, not an April Fool's joke) by allowing their customers to vote in a month-long electoral process for the cheese sandwich they most want to eat. Sign me up for the Parmesan party!

Clementine's been commemorating Grilled Cheese Month for a few years now (we covered it with much celebration last year). You can even download a very complete voting ballot from their website, which features cheesy candidates like a french-onion and brisket, fontina and mushroom, and white cheddar with roasted turkey -- and those are only this week's candidates! You can also start to look forward to Philly cheesesteaks, a bratwurst reuben with gruyere, and roasted asparagus with ricotta. And yes, write-in votes are allowed, and as the Grilled Cheese Voter's Bill of Rights states, "you have the right to eat grilled cheese as often as you want, free from intimidation by your doctor or vegans."

Want constant updates on the race? Well, they've got a blog, MeltTheVote:

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Some of the candidates competing in the Week 1 Primary have some type of scandal or blunder to overcome. French Onion has been grilled repeatedly regarding its close ties with Tom DeChevre, the former chairman of the House Wheys and Creams Committee who was recently brought up on federal raclette-ering charges. And Fontina with Roasted Shiitakes has been widely criticized for its infamous "Mushroom Accomplished" speech. But, as melted cheese strategist James Coverdale once said, "It's the flavor, stupid," and it is clear that on that score, all of the candidates are more than qualified.

Many of the sandwiches are vegetarian-friendly -- although I must warn you there is an initiative on the ballot to legalize cheese consumption by vegans. Power to the cheese! We will not discriminate!

If you're not in Clementine's neighborhood, there are lots of other grilled cheese options, including Meltdown in Culver City, Lucky Devil's in Hollywood (editor's choice!), and even (sigh) a vegan version at Madeleine's Bistro in Tarzana. Or you could just make your own: heat butter in a pan. Slap a few pieces of bread on top, layer in your cheeses of choice, turn until brown and melty. Mmmmm. Grilled cheeeeese.

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