A Classic in Parisian bistros, the Croque-Monsieur has its origins in the French capital. Discover the origin of this strange name.

The appearance of the croque-monsieur in France

In its most famous form, that is to say made of square sandwich bread, garnished with ham and covered with cheese au gratin, the croque-monsieur was offered for the first time in 1910 in one of the brasseries on the boulevard des Capucines. According to legend, Michel Lunarca, a bistro owner who lacked bread to make his sandwiches of the day, would have then decided to use sandwich bread, lightly cooked to keep the crunch of a baguette.

A Classic in Parisian bistros, the Croque-Monsieur has its origins in the French capital.
A Croque-Monsieur, a classic of Parisian bistrots – Copyright Wikipedia

Human meat

He would then have replied jokingly to his customers who asked him about the origin of the ham, that it was human meat. « Sir’s meat, » he reportedly said. A joke that became legendary, when he included the croque-monsieur on his menu the next day. In 1919, the writer Marcel Proust referred to the sandwich in his famous book « In the shade of young girls in bloom »: we had stopped, my grandmother and I, to exchange a few words with Mme de Villeparisis who told us that she had ordered « croque-monsieur » and « eggs with cream » for us at the hotel. ».

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