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Croque monsieur.jpg
Type Sandwich
Place of origin France
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Bread, ham, cheese (typically Emmental or Gruyère), béchamel sauce
Variations Croque-madame
Cookbook:Croque-monsieur  Croque-monsieur

The croque-monsieur (French pronunciation: ​[kʁɔk məsˈjøː]) is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with béchamel. It originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack. Typically, Emmental or Gruyère cheese is used.

The name is based on the verb croquer ("to crunch") and the word monsieur ("mister"). The sandwich's first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910.[1] Its earliest mention in literature appears to be in volume two of Proust's In Search of Lost Time in 1918.[2]


A croque-monsieur served with a poached or lightly fried egg on top is known as a croque-madame[3] (or in parts of Normandy a croque-à-cheval). Many dictionaries[who?] attribute the name to the egg resembling an old fashioned woman's hat. According to the Petit Robert dictionary, the name dates to around 1960. The name croque-mademoiselle is associated with many different sandwiches, from diet recipes to desserts.[4]

A ham and cheese sandwich snack, very similar to the croque-monsieur though not containing any béchamel, is called a tosti in the Netherlands, and toast (pronounced "tost") in Italy and Greece. Similarly, in the United Kingdom a ham and cheese hot snack is called a 'toastie', and toastie makers are available to buy. In the United States, the Monte Cristo, a ham-and-cheese sandwich often dipped in egg and fried, is popular diner fare. A version of this sandwich in Spain replaces the ham with sobrassada, a soft sausage from the Balearic Islands that can be easily spread. In Catalonia it is known as a bikini.[5]

Versions of the sandwich with substitutions or additional ingredients are given names modelled on the original croque-monsieur, for example:

The noted French chef Jacques Pepin also makes a version using chicken instead of ham,[9] which he demonstrated in the "Our Favorite Sandwiches"[10] episode on the PBS series (and its coordinating cookbook of the same title) Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home in which he worked with Julia Child.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Montagné, Prosper; Charlotte Snyder Turgeon and Nina Froud (1961). Larousse Gastronomique. New York City: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-517-50333-6. OCLC 413918.  [page needed]
  2. ^ (French) Entry in the on-line Trésor de la langue française.
  3. ^ Dictionnaire général pour la maîtrise de la langue française, la culture classique et contemporaine. Paris: Larousse. 1993. p. 405. ISBN 2-03-320300-X. OCLC 29916226. 
  4. ^ Recette Croque Mademoiselle
  5. ^ bikini « Iberianature
  6. ^ a b Croque Monsieur Recipes – History of the Croque Monsieur
  7. ^ Downie, David (23 July 2000). "Bread Winner". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Croque Norvegien |
  9. ^ Pepin, Jacques; Julia Child; David Nussbaum (September 1999). "Jacques's Croque Madame Recipe". Epicurious. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "104: Our Favorite Sandwiches". Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home: The Episodes. Retrieved 1 October 2010.