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"Croque" redirects here. For the town in Canada, see Croque, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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  Media: Croque-Monsieur

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

The name is based on the verb croquer ("to bite") 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; 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.