Why Is National Panini Month In August?

I can only wonder which foods own the "national food months" of winter if National Panini Month is in August. It's still hot. Definitely still summer right now. Certainly not time for a molten sandwich full of melted cheese. Oh man, that sounds awesome though. I want a panini. I don't care if it never digests. And screw the heat.

In honor of this seasonally inappropriate lunch, I've done my best to bring you the most summery paninis I can imagine. We'll save the Reubens and cheesesteaks for when you have body heat to generate and conserve. But far be it from me to Scrooge on a deep-set American tradition like griddling sandwiches in 90% humidity. I'm sure whoever established this food law had very good reasons I'm not going to overanalyze. Masochism. Liking cheese more than a friend. Requiring easy words to practice one's fake Italian accent. Any number of things. Moving on.

  • Caprese: The logical choice, tomatoes and basil are in season, and mozzarella isn't as dense or oily as some cheeses and melts incredibly fast — less time at the panini press for you.

  • Pan Bagnat: Lean protein, astringent pickled vegetables to keep you cool, salty little fish to keep your electrolytes up. Not normally a pressed sandwich — I'm assuming you adhere to national food months — but wouldn't be bad griddled. In the winter.

  • Grilled Cheese with Fruit: They're in season, and not forever, so make the most of how good ripe peaches and Stilton, goat cheese and strawberries and blackberries and cheddar taste together and make a legitimate summer sandwich.

And those are the only three panini options I find appropriate to consume while it's still in the humid 80s. Just wait for that "100 degrees in September" thing, you know it's real. Good thing it'll also be National Pot Pie Month.

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