The Croque Monsieur, the history of and details about the classic recipe
The Croque Monsieur, a gentleman's sandwich
The classic Croque Monsieur first made its appearance in French cafes in the 1910s and gained immediate popularity as an enjoyable snack.
The name comes from the word croquer, meaning to bite, and monsieur, meaning mister, translating overall as gentleman's sandwich.
Historically a Croque Monsieur is made using standard sliced white bread, but some people use a sweetened version such as brioche. The only rule is, whatever type of bread you use, it has to be white!
The recipe usually features a cheese such as Gruyère or Emmental, both on top plus inside. The sandwich is then baked or fried so that the cheese melts and the bread becomes crusty.
You may find some French bistros pour a bechamel sauce, made of milk, fat and flour, over the Croque Monsieur for additional flavour and taste.
Nowadays, you may also see Croque Madame on a French menu, the name given when you find an egg on top of a Croque Monsieur. The name comes from a woman's hat that became popular later in the 1960s as the yolk is supposed to resemble the shape!
If you fancy making an authentic Croque Monsieur, an original recipe is one of the many French recipes featured in our fabulous book: F. Scott Fitzgerald's Taste of France: Recipes inspired by the cafés and bars of Fitzgerald's Paris and the Riviera in the 1920s