Gastro Obscura introduces us to the Cheese Zombie, which is a sandwich native to Yakima, Washington. The origin story, according to a 2013 article in the Yakima Herald-Republic, is that a cook at a local public school cafteria invented it in the late 1950s.
Which cook created depends on who you talk to, as there are multiple claimants to the honor. But all of the stories say that a school received a huge excess of government-provided cheese. It was too much cheese to use productively in the normal menu, so the cook invented what would become know as the Cheese Zombie. To make a batch, lay out slices of cheese between two sheets of dough, then slice into individual squares. Brush the top with melted butter and then bake.
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The result was so delicious that schools and restaurants in Yakima continue to make it to this day. It’s especially popular to eat Cheese Zombies on Halloween for reasons that remain a mystery to me. Perhaps it’s because of the spooky name.