Croque monsieur

A croque monsieur (French pronunciation: [kʁɔk məsjø]) is a hot sandwich made with ham and cheese. The name comes from the French words croque ("crunch") and monsieur ("mister").

Croque monsieur
A croque monsieur
Place of originFrance
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsBread, butter, ham, cheese (typically Gruyère)
VariationsCroque madame


The dish originated in French cafés and bars as a quick snack. In the early 1900s, bistro owner Michel Lunarca popularized the croque-monsieur.[1]


A croque monsieur is traditionally made with baked or boiled ham and sliced cheese between slices of pain de mie, topped with grated cheese and slightly salted and peppered, and then baked in an oven or fried in a frying pan. The bread may optionally be browned by grilling after being dipped in beaten egg. Traditionally, Gruyère is used, but sometimes Comté or Emmental cheese as well. Some brasseries also add béchamel sauce.

Croque monsieur may be baked or fried so that the cheese topping melts and forms a crust.[2][3]


A croque monsieur served with a poached or lightly fried egg on top is known as a croque madame[4] (or, in parts of Normandy, as a croque-à-cheval). According to the Petit Robert dictionary, the name dates to around 1960. The name croque-mademoiselle is associated with its lighter, vegetarian version: made of the same bread, but with ordinary melting cheese, accompanied with chives, cucumber and lettuce.[2]

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, and a 'grilled cheese sandwich' is a classic sandwich that has been enjoyed at home and in cafeteria-style restaurants since the Great Depression.[5]

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

Name Added ingredients Reference
Barros Jarpa Variation with same ingredients from Chilean cuisine [6]
Barros Luco Made with roast beef instead of ham [6]
Croque provençal Tomato [7]
Croque auvergnat Bleu d'Auvergne cheese [8]
Croque norvégien Smoked salmon instead of ham [6]
Croque tartiflette Sliced potatoes and Reblochon cheese [7]
Croque bolognese / croque Boum-Boum Bolognese sauce
Croque señor Tomato salsa
Croque Hawaiian Slice of pineapple
Croque gagnet Gouda cheese and andouille [9]
Croque Madame Fried egg [6]
Croque monsieur with bechamel Standard croque monsieur topped with bechamel sauce [6]
Francesinha Variation from Portuguese cuisine with steak, sausage, ham, melted cheese and beer sauce [6]

See also


  1. "La savoureuse histoire du croque-monsieur". Le Figaro. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. "Croque-monsieur et croque-madame font des enfants" (in French). aufimin cuisine suisse. 18 March 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  3. "Croque monsieur au four". Cuisine actuelle. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  4. 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.
  5. "History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich". History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. Russo, Susan. The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.
  7. "All the Croque Monsieur Recipes You Will Ever Need".
  8. Downie, David (23 July 2000). "Bread Winner". Los Angeles Times.
  9. "Tracing the History of the Croque Monsieur Sandwich Paris Blog Oui Always Have Paris". Oui Always Have Paris. 2015-08-11. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
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