Food - Drink
How A Mistake May Have Created The First Croque Monsieur
By KATHERINE BECK
Despite its relatively simple ingredients — white bread, Bechamel sauce, Gruyère cheese, and ham — the croque Monsieur is a deliciously indulgent treat. The classic French dish is special for being baked or fried, earning it the name “croque” meaning “crunchy bite,” but the iconic sandwich almost never existed.
As legend has it, the first croque monsieur was accidentally invented when a worker placed their sandwich too close to a radiator, resulting in melted cheese and toasted bread. While this story isn't confirmed, what is known is that the croque monsieur goes back at least as far as 1910, but it didn’t become truly popular until the 1960s.
Today the sandwich is a quintessential part of Parisian food culture and there are multiple variations. Add a fried egg to the sandwich for a croque madame, or opt for the vegetarian croque mademoiselle. There are also regional variations that include tomatoes, potatoes with camembert, or blue cheese.